By ZENIT Staff

The Philippine’s new cardinal, Jose Advincula, called on laypeople to be living witnesses and “missionary disciples” even amid the coronavirus pandemic, reported CBCP News.

Cardinal Jose Advincula of Capiz said there are many ways to be missionaries — taking what they have learned and sharing it with others.

“…Even if most of us are forced to stay at home, we can still carry out our mandate to be missionary disciples,” Advincula said.

“Through our words, actions, and our total commitment to the faith, we can all preach the Gospel to others around us be it at home, work-places, schools and within our small communities,” he said.

The cardinal was speaking in his homily during Mass at the cathedral for Roxas City’s fiesta on Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Advincula wore a face shield and a face mask during the entire celebration in accordance with the health and safety protocols suggested by the government.

According to him, Catholics should not just be at the receiving end of instruction and witnessing but should also be prompted to instruct and give witness to their faith.

“We cannot be disciples only, we have to be missionaries,” he said. “We are missionaries that are mandated to proclaim the Good News of our salvation.”

Proclaiming the Gospel, he stressed, is not just the task of the clergy and consecrated persons reserved in pulpits, but also by the laity.

Such missionary mandate, he added, is coming from Christ himself and was lived by the early missionaries that arrived in the Philippines 500 years ago.

The cardinal also recognized the acclaim that Filipinos are known worldwide as being devout Catholics.

“Filipinos are known throughout the world because of our devout Catholic faith [especially] through our migrant workers and missionaries [who] serves the Church in almost 200 countries around the world where Filipinos are present,” he said.

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