Holy Week is memorial of God’s mercy, says Manila archbishop

March 24, 2024 - 3:39 PM
Cardinal Jose Advincula leads leads Palm Sunday service at the Manila Cathedral on March 24, 2024. (CBCP News)

On Palm Sunday, the head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church told the faithful to look at Holy Week as a “special time to experience God’s mercy”.

Cardinal Jose Advincula offered Mass at the Manila Cathedral and urged Catholics to return to Jesus and cry out for repentance and live a renewed life.

“Let us admit where we have gone wrong and decide to follow Jesus again. When we open our hearts and say sorry we can really feel God’s forgiveness,” Advincula said in his homily.

“May this Holy Week be a transformative journey for us all. A journey leading us closer to the heart of our faith,” he said.

Before the Mass, the cardinal led the blessing of palm fronds outside the cathedral, which was followed by a brief procession to the church, symbolizing the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, a most sacred week in the liturgical calendar.

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel readings, he said that it’s easy for people to think that they would not make the same mistakes as the apostles, “but in truth we often find ourselves in their shoes”.

“When trials come and troubles pile up, we begin to stray and like the disciples we too can turn away from Jesus,” Advincula said.

However, the Manila archbishop said that the story of the apostles also gives a strong message of hope. “It is possible to make things right again,” he said.

“This tells us that even when we mess up we can still turn things around,” Advincula added. “We are not defined by our mistakes but by how we deal with them.”

“No matter how bad things get, we can always choose to heal and come back together,” he also said.