Faithful told: ‘Marawi crisis is chance to show faith’

Faithful told: ‘Marawi crisis is chance to show faith’
Fr. Erby Davy Lajara calls on the faithful to pray for mercy and compassion through the intercession of St. Faustina, especially in this time of chaos in Marawi. EILEEN BALLESTEROS

TACLOBAN City – In the face of ongoing chaos in Marawi, a priest called on the faithful to see the crisis as a chance to show and live out the Christian faith.

“In this situation we are in right now, let us not panic, but instead this is the time for us to show our faith, our being Catholics,” said Fr. Erby Davy Lajara, parish priest of St. Joseph Parish and director of the Archdiocese of Palo Commission on the Laity, during a Mass to pray for peace in Mindanao, Syria, and other places in a state of war.

The priest added: “In the final analysis all these things happening are willed by Our Lord, we simply have to trust Him, in His mercy, and put His Heart in our lives, and He will take good care of us.”

‘Wonderful opportunity’

He also said the visit of the international pilgrim relic of St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy of Jesus, which arrived in his parish on Sunday, was an opportunity for the faithful to ask for her intercession for Jesus’ mercy and peace to reign in Marawi.

“This is a very wonderful opportunity as much as during the days of St. Faustina, the world was also in chaos and yet she trusted in Christ’s mercy,” said Lajara, who also prayed for the success of the peace talks between Muslims and the government should these resume.

The pilgrim relic of St. Faustina is expected to move to other parishes in the archdiocese and other parts of the country.

The priest also called on the Mass-goers to remain calm and non-judgmental of the terrorists.

“It is a very sad thing that this is happening, but still the first thing we need to do is to pray for our brethren and let us not judge because we have the tendency to be judgmental,” he said.

No condemnation

“We condemn the action but never the person, especially that whether the terrorists succeed or not, they have already sown fear,” he added.

Aside from prayer, Lajara called on the people to give aid material or “even simple moral support to all those caught in the crossfire and the combatants too.”

The devotion to the Divine Mercy stemmed from the writings of St. Faustina (Helen Kowalska), an unlettered nun from the war-torn Poland. She was beatified on April 18, 1993 and then canonized on April 30, 2000 by Pope (now Saint) John Paul II. CBCPNews