PRAY not only to repent; also pray to defeat the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-2019) and attain peace in the country.
This was the message of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma during the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City on Feb. 26, 2020.
“We should pray for the different problems,” he said in his homily in Cebuano. “We should not only pray for our own personal problems but for the society’s ills too.”
The Covid-19 has infected more than 80,000 people globally and caused 2,700 deaths.
The Philippines has three confirmed cases, including one death.
The prelate sprinkled ashes on the faithful’s heads, following the suggestion made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
In its liturgical guidelines for the Lenten season, the CBCP suggested the sprinkling of ashes on the crown of the head instead as part of its precautionary measure to reduce the risk of the transmission of the Covid-2019.
However, there were priests who formed a cross on the faithful’s foreheads.
Ash Wednesday — a Holy Christian day of prayer and fasting — signaled the start of Lent, which will end on Thursday, April 9.
Palma, in his homily, said Jesus Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection showed His love to the people. (JCT)