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Filipino Bishop tells youth: Avoid being self-centered, consider needs of others

Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon of Daet, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (Photo credit: CBCP NEWS).

Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, told young people in his message for National Youth Day (NYD) to avoid being self-centered and to think about the needs of others as much as their own. 

The message was released on December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in line with the country’s dedication to Youth Ministry Week on December 9–15.

"Let us resist the temptation of self-absorption. May we not be simply concerned with self-preservation. Rather, let us look at the needs of others as our own," said Bishop Alarcon.

According to the bishop, Mary unhesitatingly visited her cousin Elizabeth, and St. Paul's mantra of loving with sincerity, rejecting what is wrong, and clinging to what is good—loving one another with mutual affection—should inspire young people to do good.

"Let us strive to make haste in doing kind and good deeds; to make haste in consoling and supporting those in need; to make haste in attending to injustice; to make haste in contributing to the good of our communities," he said. 

He also asked them to act quickly to fix mistakes and show that they were strong, to reach out to people who were far away and left out, and to work with and help others.

"Let us make haste to realize our communion, to share responsibility and to go for mission; to make haste towards building God’s Kingdom," the bishop added. 

The CBCP started the NYD in 1986 as a way for young people to celebrate their faith and learn more about it.

It is celebrated in dioceses across the country on December 16, the first day of the Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. It is also commemorated every two years with a national gathering.

The NYD national gathering was last held in the Archdiocese of Cebu in 2019. The Archdiocese of Caceres was supposed to host it in 2021, but it was delayed due to the pandemic.

"As we all celebrate the NYD, our prayer and wish for all is that we may all have the agility to face and address the rapidly changing challenges, keeping our minds, hearts, and spirits focused on the Lord Jesus, Who comes to rescue us," Alarcon said.-Kasmir Nema


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