Palma to Cebuano faithful: Value life amid the COVID-19 threat
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma reminded Cebuano faithful of the need to value life while most parts of the world face the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Karun panahona tungod sa COVID-19, we should be serious in giving value to life and all people of goodwill to do our utmost best to protect the lives of everyone,” Palma said in his homily during the Palm Sunday Mass which he officiated at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral this morning, April 5, 2020.
The celebration of Palm Sunday marks the start of the Holy Week.
However, the celebration was made with only very few people in attendance including Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and 3rd district Rep. Pablo John Garcia due to the strict implementation of social distancing measures which prompted the Archdiocese of Cebu, like other Catholic Churches in the country, to limit gatherings and suspend some of its Holy Week activities.
Palma’s Palm Sunday Mass was instead aired live through the Cathedral’s social media page to reach more Cebuanos. The online Mass generated over 18,000 live views.
Before the Mass ended, Palma also led the Cebuano community in praying the Oratio Imperata against COVID-19.
Value of Life, Frontliners
In his homily, Palma encouraged the public to follow the government’s directives against the COVID-19 and avoid sparking unnecessary panic and chaos.
“This is not the time for us to be hardheaded. Let us not do any attempts to break the rules made to protect our lives – be it social distancing, ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), and orders to stay at home,” the prelate said in Cebuano.
“Remember, Jesus offered his life so we can live life to the fullest,” he added.
Palma also expressed his gratitude to frontlines combating COVID-19 as well as those who risk their lives to ensure that the needs of the people are fulfilled.
“That’s why we describe our frontliners as heroes because it’s not easy that they expose themselves to risk. And yet, this instance must serve as a reminder for all of us that we should value our lives,” Palma said.
He also extended his condolences to those who lost their battle against COVID-19 and offered prayers for the repose of their souls.
“The most important thing for us to realize is that their sacrifices should not be in vain,” Palma said.
In Cebu, COVID-19 already claimed four lives while it has infected at least 29 individuals. / dcb
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