Be God’s instrument in changing society, bishop tells families

CEBU City, Jan. 14, 2012—A Catholic bishop has called on Filipino families to become God’s instrument in changing the face of society through witness of life.

Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said the nation’s celebration of the feast of Sto. Niño should lead Christian families to realize and live their “liberating and transformative role as the focal point of evangelization and the nucleus of faith-witnessing.”

He noted that the theme of the celebration dubbed as “Sto. Niño, Refuge of the Filipino Christian Family” has a powerful message on the situation and role of today’s Filipino families in bringing change to society.

Alminaza, who is also convenor of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group, reflected how families nowadays are greatly endangered by the hedonistic values spread by the media.

“Today, families are greatly attacked by worldly values, decadent media, internet, and modern gadgetry,” he said. “Moreover, a sizable number of marginalized Filipino families are living in utter poverty.”

“We have to ask the following question, he said, "How can the Sto. Niño today become the refuge of families who are landless, jobless, homeless, hungry; and which lack the basic social services such as health, education, housing and others?

“Our celebrations will be like empty clanging cymbals if the above concrete realities of the least of the Sto. Niño's brothers and sisters are not addressed effectively,” Alminaza added.

Quoting Pope Benedict’s message for the 2012 World Day of Peace, he said “the family, as foundation of society, has an essential task in genuine societal transformation and a definite ecclesial task which places itself at the service of the building up of the Kingdom of God in history.” (CBCPNews)