The Experience of God’s Mercy
By Melanie Williams (Jan 20, 2017)
The fourth day of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy was held at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Mariloa, Bulacan, in the Philippines. The focus of the day was the experience of God’s mercy.
To experience God’s mercy, international delegates at WACOM 4 took pilgrimages to various “places of mercy” in that region in the Philippines — orphanages, hospitals, elderly homes, and other apostolates for the poor. In the afternoon, the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace for the Philippines, Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, spoke on “Witnessing to the Mercy of God as the Church of and for the Poor.”
Archbishop Tirona said that to be a witness to the Church of the Poor, we should have intimacy with Jesus, immersion in the life of the Church, and involvement in people’s lives — especially the poor.
He said, “Being intimate with Jesus, you will also have to embrace His cross — sacrifice and love. When you love Jesus, you are bound to sacrifice yourself.”
See his full talk:
Following Archbishop Tirona’s talk, Fr. Aurelio Perez, FAM, Sons of Merciful Love, and Mr. Antonio Meloto gave their testimonies of Mercy and the poor.
The celebrant of the Holy Mass was the Bishop of Minna, Nigeria, Most Rev. Martin Uzoukwu, DD, and the homilist was the Bishop of Malolos, Philippines, Most Rev. Jose Francisco Oliveros, DD, who is currently battling cancer.
Bishop Oliveros said, “Lately the Lord is asking me to trust more in His mercy. You know I am not feeling well, that is why I was not present for the first three days of our congress. And even now, as we start the Mass, I feel so weak. But I trust in God’s mercy. Next week we will start a new round of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, but I trust in the mercy of God. Please pray for me.”
Connecting his homily to the theme of the day, Bishop Oliveros said, “Mercy is the bridge that connects the hearts of men, opening ourselves to love one another despite our sinfulness… Mercy is the ultimate and supreme act in which God comes to meet us.”
See his full homily:
The day concluded with the blessing and dedication of a 100 foot statue of The Divine Mercy — the world’s tallest. The statue stands atop a four-story multi-purpose building to perpetuate the memory of WACOM 4, 2017.
Thank you to CBCP News for the photo and video coverage of WACOM 4.
Convened every three years, WACOM is an international gathering of Divine Mercy devotees and promoters, including bishops, priests, religious brothers and sisters, and laity. It was first convened by the Vatican on April 2-6, 2008, in Rome, Italy, which coincided with the third anniversary of the death of St. Pope John Paul II. The second WACOM was held in Krakow, Poland, from October 1 to 5, 2011, and the third was held in Bogota, Columbia, from August 14 to 18, 2014. Between WACOMs, continental, national, and regional congresses take place.
See full coverage of WACOM 4 at www.mercycongress.org