14 Notes & Comments

posted Mar 13, 2019, 10:14 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 13, 2019, 10:15 AM ]

A Plethora of Promises

Fr Joshan Rodrigues

The season of Lent coincides with election season this year around, and we can see our political leaders at their 'promising' best. There is a last minute dash to inaugurate as many projects as one humanly can. Hundreds of projects and proposals are passed by legislative houses in a matter of minutes, with scarcely any discussion on their merits or flaws. The impossibility of being physically present at every 'ribbon-cutting' ceremony has been overcome with the astute use of technology: read web conferencing. A plethora of promises are made before every election, but then there are promises made and promises kept.

We have been long accustomed to hearing promises made, only to find our hopes dashed in the months and years following. No wonder then, that a certain fatigue has crept in when we hear the oft-repeated exhortation that we must be good citizens who do our democratic duty. Hope turns to despair then, as we watch civic progress and development fail to keep pace with our eager expectations from the political class.

Contrast this with the season of Lent, which is a season of promise as well; the only difference being that this promise has already been fulfilled 2000 years ago. Hence, as Christians, we journey through this period of grace with the joyful confidence of encountering the Risen Lord at Easter. This promise has already been kept.


Cardinal Tagle calls for 'Fast2Feed' poor children


Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has appealed to Filipino Catholics to mark the Lenten season by doing acts of charity, especially by helping feed poor children.

He urged people to deepen their relationship with God by donating money that would usually have gone on a meal, to Manila Archdiocese's 'Fast2Feed' campaign, which is part of the Philippine Church's Hapag-Asa programme.

It is a nationwide feeding programme that aims to reduce malnutrition among children up to 12 years old. The Hapag-Asa Integrated Nutrition scheme has actively partnered with the archdiocese, by mounting regular feeding programmes in poor and remote areas of the country. "We, Filipinos, have a deep relationship with our faith. The season of Lent is another opportunity for us to re-centre our lives by helping those who are most in need," Cardinal Tagle said.

"Under the Fast2Feed initiative, as little as 10 pesos a day can feed a child a manna pack-based meal," said the prelate. A "manna pack" is a rice meal formula, fortified with vitamins mixed with vegetables. "Let us make a difference in the lives of these hungry and malnourished children by donating whatever we save from fasting," Cardinal Tagle said. "To practise charity is concrete proof that we are striving to follow Jesus, and that we are making the gift of ourselves the active principle of Christian life," he added.

This year, Hapag-Asa is looking to provide one meal per day to 30,000 children for 120 days. "The development of their full potential will not be achieved unless they are cared for and fed with nutritious food," said Cardinal Tagle.