The fifth and final day of the 4th World Apostolic Congress On Mercy was held on Jan. 20, 2017 at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, a beautiful Philippine heritage park in the Diocese of Balanga, Bataan.
At the concluding Mass of WACOM4, Bishop Ruperto Santos said that the mercy of God is about life-sustaining and prolonging it, not taking it. He urged everyone to be messengers of God’s mercy. One of the common denominators of mercy is value of life, he said.
WACOM is held every three years and aims at furthering the devotion to the Divine Mercy in the world. The Church tasks to be missionaries and messengers of God’s mercy, spreading it through good works of mercy. Our mercy is not to take matters into our hands. Our mercy is not to cast the first stone. It is our mercy to open our hands, hold them tight and help them live with dignity and without recriminations.
In the midst of all troubles and even if you are the worst sinner, you can be sorry and reform. There is hope, there is help and there is healing. Even with your past shameful and scandalous life, there’s a chance to redeem yourself because we have a God of mercy and compassion.
Our merciful love must be polite and not offensive. Fake news and trolls are not mercy, they are lies. Bullying and internet bashing are not mercy, they are offensive and violent. Verbal abuse and gossiping are not mercy, they are character-assassination. How can we not be ashamed of our corruption and destruction of the environment for money and profit? How can we be glad with the spilling of innocent blood? Bishop Santos’ message poses a strong challenge in our mission to spread the devotion to the Divine Mercy and bring God’s mercy especially to the poor, the oppressed victims of cruelty and injustice. Christ is counting on you.
In the midst of all troubles and even if you are the worst sinner, you can be sorry and reform. There is hope, there is help and there is healing.
At the closing Mass at about 5:30 in the afternoon, there was the spinning of the sun, which many called the “dancing sun” which lasted for about a minute or two. It was a phenomenon witnessed by thousands of us, clergy and faithful alike during that particular moment while Mass was going on. Some people took videos of it. Analysis of such solar occurrence I believe is left to each one’s personal interpretation. I have never seen that kind of awesome sight before.
As a token of gratitude and hospitality for the faith-filled and memorable event of WACOM4 Philippines, the host Diocese of Balanga, Bataan, treated all participants to a sumptuous fiesta-style dinner right at the majestic and prestigious Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Park. Parting is such a sweet sorrow, but we have to say goodbye till the next WACOM5 in American Samoa in 2020.
On the flip side, someone said that the best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve been and the memories you’ve made along the way. Always leave people better than you found them. Hug the hurt and befriend the lost. The way of the church is not to condemn anyone forever, but to pour out the balm of God’s mercy to those who ask for it with a sincere heart. (Pope Francis).
It is only love that lends value to our actions. St. Faustina (Diary 303).
The Divine Mercy-St. John Paul II Chapel project needs your generous financial assistance. For information pls. contact Fr. Dan Bien at 483-4410, Carmen Kasperbauer at 632-0431, or me, Fr. Joel at 483-9464. Thank you and may God bless and reward you abundantly.