My hope is that we will all join together with our brothers and sisters in the Philippines from all different denominations who are fighting this very real spiritual battle for Life. Make no mistake that this is a worldwide spiritual issue and it is very important for us all to be united. – Fr. Terry Gensemer
A Call for Unity
by Marilou Villavicencio (Cathedral of the King CEC, Manila)
On Ash Wednesday the Cathedral of the King, in Manila, Philippines gathered for Eucharist at 6:00 AM to start the Lenten Season with the imposition of ashes.Throughout Epiphany, we were reminded of the awesomeness of Christ’s power in our lives. We have been repeatedly told that this power we posses is the same power that brought up Christ from the dead therefore there is nothing that could stop us to manifest His image to a world that needs to see Christ.However, man has weaknesses. He has the tendency to rely on his own strength and become arrogant and start claiming this power as His own. This is why we journey through the 40 days of Lent to bring back a balance into our lives starting with the imposition of ash on our forehead. It is a visible sign which reminds us that we are merely dust and to dust we shall return. It is by the power of God’s breathing life into us that we have become like Him and not by our own efforts.Lent calls us to an awareness of our self-centeredness. It is a time to evaluate our lives and put into proper place what God has given us to build up others. God trusts each of us to take what we have been given not for personal gain.On Ash Wednesday, Abp. Loren T. Hines enjoined everyone to declare our stand against the controversial RH Bill (Reproductive Health Bill) which has started to be heard in the Senate on Shrove Tuesday”¦a day when man should be bidding farewell to the flesh. What an insult to the Giver of Life that men would choose this day to fight His principles.We must declare our protest by wearing our ALL LIFE IS SACRED t-shirts or any plain black t-shirt everyday for the rest of the season. Streamers are being printed to be hanged on the gates of our homes as well as bumper stickers for our cars.Members of the church in Manila are also campaigning among friends, in and out of the country, to change their Facebook profile pictures to ALL LIFE IS SACRED. Among the very first ones to respond to this move is Patriarch Craig Bates and Fr. Terry Gensemer.We must make a stand together for righteousness and truth; and, not be deceived by the wiles of men who are selfish and desirous of material gain. This is a disease that plagues men of all nations! Men of God must stand together and fight this battle.Life was given to man as a gift that we may make visible God’s glory and manifest his image and likeness in a world what has been corrupted by sin.Together let us make a stand that ALL LIFE IS SACRED!