During the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Quiapo Church, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, has reminded President Duterte and every other Filipino to use the season of Lent as a time to change their bad ways.
“Ang payo ko [para kay Presidente Duterte] ay payo ko para sa lahat: Na sana kunin natin itong panahon na ito, panahon ng pagbabago, at lahat naman tayo ay kailangang magbago, hindi naman makakasabi na ‘hindi ko na kailangang magbago’,” Pabillo said.
“Magbago sa ating pananalita, sa ating pakikitungo sa kapwa, sa ating pagkalinga sa nangangailangan… Nasa kanya (Duterte) na ‘yon, ito’y nasa diwa ng pagpasok natin dito, kaya lahat naman tayo ay nangangailangan ng pagbabago at nang paglapit sa Panginoong Diyos,” he added.
The bishop is known to be among the President’s staunch critics, especially of the government’s bloody war on drugs. (Read: Women Leaders Speak Up to Duterte’s Latest Sexist Remark)
Start of Lent 2021
A number of devotees attended the Ash Wednesday Mass in Quiapo Church on February 17. The celebration also marks the start of the Lenten season, which is dedicated to 40 days of prayer, fasting, and reflection among the faithful. (Read: 3 Mobile Apps to Help You Observe a Meaningful Lent)
As part of the new guidelines developed in line with the COVID-19 crisis, Catholics who attended the Mass received the ash via sprinkling on their heads instead of the traditional marking of the cross on the forehead. Attendees were also scattered inside and outside the Quiapo Church, so as to observe physical distancing.
Bishop Pabillo led the Mass celebration. In his homily, he echoed the Pope’s Lenten message for 2021 and reminded the Filipino faithful to spend the season not just by reflecting on their faith, but also by helping those who are greatly affected by the pandemic.
“Isa nga sa gawain ng Quaresma ay ang pagkawang-gawa… Sana maging bukas tayo sa pangangailangan ng iba, at anumang matitipid natin sa ating pagpepenitensya, sa ating pag-aayuno ay maitulong natin sa nangangailangan,” Bishop Pabillo said.