With faith comes responsibility, bishop tells devotees

With faith comes responsibility, bishop tells devotees

Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco of Antipolo celebrates Mass at the Quiapo Church on the eve of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Jan. 8. SCREENSHOT/QUIAPO CHURCH FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

January 8, 2021

Manila, Philippines

On the eve of the Black Nazarene feast, a Catholic bishop called on devotees to observe health protocols and reminded them that with acts of faith comes responsibility.

As Covid-19 pandemic continues, Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco of Antipolo urged the devotees to do their part as Christian believers.

He said people cannot claim their right to worship if they cannot observe their duties and obligations.

“We have to cooperate as believers because we want to be an instrument to maintain the health of each other,” Buco said.

“So this is also an invitation to us as believers that our lives are not just random [acts], part of it is sacrifice,” he said.

The bishop said this in his homily during the last of the nine-day novena Masses at the Quiapo Church in Manila on Friday.

Saying that the coronavirus is very contagious, he warned that the raging pandemic “is not a joke”.

“So as much as possible, let us help each other,” Buco added.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is one of the country’s largest religious events, which usually gathers millions of people to Manila each year.

Church officials have earlier asked devotees to just attend the “localized” celebrations of the Black Nazarene feast to help decongest the Quiapo district on Saturday.

Services at the Quiapo Church, which has instilled a 400-person cap for each of the 15 Masses, will also be livestreamed on their Facebook page to reach out to more devotees.

Metro Manila is currently under the general community quarantine restrictions, which require religious services to limit capacity to 30 percent.

Amid the restrictions to contain the pandemic, Bishop Buco said the feast is still an opportunity to ask God for blessings, strength and for an end to the health crisis.

“He (Jesus) reminds all of us believers that this (pandemic) is not forever. Let us just continue to trust,” he said.

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