Updated: Mar 26, 2020

The Prefect of Propaganda Fide Gives a Message of Hope on the Feast of the Annunciation

by Margaux Salcedo

In his homily on March 25, Wednesday, for the Feast of the Annunciation mass at the Pontificio Collegio Filippino livestreamed to almost half a million viewers and counting, His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle addressed the anxieties that people are going through due to COVID-19 as he reflected on the story of Mary.

God is with us

First he stressed that God is with us, God continues loving us, and God saves.

The Annunciation, he explained, was the beginning of the Incarnation: a silent and mysterious event that changed the world because at that moment, "in the fullness of time and the fullness of love, heaven and earth would unite in that Womb, in that Son - truly God but also truly human ... for God so loved the world He sent us his only Son."

This is good news to us as we all face this universal crisis and we are all crying out for help: God continues loving. God sends his son.

He added, "Even during the time of Isaiah, in the time of need, even of conflict, God promises a sign. And it is not something, it is someone: Emmanuel. God with us."

Jesus, he reminded us, is another name which means "God saves".

"God is with us not just to be 'cutie-cutie' with us. God is with us as someone who saves."

Jesus, he reminded listeners, by assuming a body "assumed our condition, our temptations, our weakness, our frailty, our sickness, our cares, our sighs ... and he will take all of them to do the will of the Father. And we are saved."

Physical Distancing Should Not Eliminate Community Caring

"We are appealing to everyone to observe physical distancing where possible but the Feast of today reminds us: physical distancing should not lead to forgetfulness of neighbor," Cardinal Tagle emphasized.

Physical distancing is for the common good ... but physical distancing should not eliminate community caring.

"This is a pandemic," His Eminence explained. "Pan (means) all; demos (means) people. It affects all people. And so we should think of all. And the response should be common for all. Common caring."

He added that God did not distance Himself from humanity; instead, in the fullness of time, the Son of God came. God is with us.