Catholics urged to emulate Jesus Christ's humility, respect those who betray them

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 14) — As Catholics mark the beginning of the Holy Week, Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle reminded Filipino faithfuls to emulate Jesus Christ's humility.

"Kilalanin natin si Hesus, para siya ay ating sundan. Hindi po madali pero sa biyaya ng Diyos, harinawa, mahalin natin siya at sundan natin siya," Tagle said in his homily during the Palm Sunday mass at the Manila Cathedral.

[Translation: Let us know who Jesus is, so we can follow him. It is not easy, but with the grace of God, I hope we can love and follow him.]

Palm Sunday, locally known as "Araw ng Palaspas," is the commemoration of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem days before he was crucified. As a tradition, Filipino Catholics head to churches to have their palm fronds blessed during this day.

Tagle recounted how Jesus was welcomed to Jerusalem as a king, and later on betrayed and considered as a culprit.

"Inaalala natin kung paano siya tinanggap sa Herusalem. Nagwagayway sila ng mga dahon, mga sanga, mga palaspas. Pagsalubong sa Hari, Mesias, Anak ni David. Ganoon sa simula, pero nung natapos, ipinako sa krus, hindi na Hari ang tingin sa kanya kung hindi, kriminal. Pati yung mga nangako na susunod sa kanya, iniwanan siya," the prelate said.

[Translation: We commemorate how he was welcomed in Jerusalem. They were waving leaves, trunks, palm fronds as a welcome to the King, the Messiah, the Son of David. That's how it was in the beginning, but in the end he was crucified. People no longer looked at him as a king, but a criminal. Even those who vowed to follow Him left.[

Tagle called on Catholics to respect people who have hurt them the same way Jesus did when one of his 12 disciples, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Him, which led to his arrest.

"Dumating ang nagkanulo sa kanya, hinalikan, sabi ni Hesus, 'Hudas, ipinagkakanulo mo ba ang mga tao sa pamamagitan ng isang halik?' Tinawag pa niya ang pangalan, Hudas iginalang niya ang pagkatao nung taong nagbebenta sa kanya, ikaw na yung sinasaktan, siya pa ang gumagalang," Tagle narrated.

[Translation: The one who betrayed him arrived, and Jesus asked, did you betray me with a kiss? He called his name. He respected the person of teh one who sold him. He was hurt, but he still showed respect.]

"Eh tayo nga sanay na sanay, ayaw nating tawagin ng magalang ang pangalan ng mga taong kasamaan natin ng loob, kung anu-ano ang pangalan na ginagamit natin. Si Hesus, sinaktan mo ako, igagalang kita. Susunod ba tayo sa ganyang Mesias?" he added.

[Translation: We are used to calling our enemies with bad words, but Jesus, despite being hurt, still respect. Are we going to follow that Messiah?]

Tagle also reminded faithfuls that the Holy Week is not just a time for vacation as they should reflect on Jesus' sufferings.

"Bagamat tayo rin ay makapagpapahinga tuwing Holy Week, sana ang Holy Week ay hindi lang bakasyon, hindi lang break hindi lang pamamasyal, kung hindi panahon ng malalim na pagkilala kay Hesus," he said.

[Translation: Even though we can rest during the Holy Week, I hope we use it not just for vacation or break, but as a time to know him deeper.]

"Sana po, inyong ipaalam sa inyong mga anak at mga apo, sana po inyong ipaalam sa mga kaanak at kaibigan na Ang Holy Week ay panahon para titigan si Hesus, tingnan siya, makinig sa kanya at hayaan ang kanyang salita, ang kanyang pagdurusa, pag-ibig ay talagang makapagbago ng ating pagkatao," he added.

[Translation: I hope you tell your children, grandchildren, and friends that Holy Week is a time to look at Jesus and let his words and sufferings change us.]