By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz
Have a philandering husband or an errant son? The solution is not harsher treatment or tougher rules but a return to the “covenant relationship,” said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
“You don’t need to mandate love… You don’t teach that, ‘step 1, step 2…’ The heart that experiences love will love and when it loves … it enters into a covenant, [that’s when] commandments are no longer important. What’s important is that I have a covenant with someone,” explained the prelate during a holy Mass to open the “A Love to Last: Families are forever” concert/conference last October 29 at the SMX Convention Center.
He explained that because a person has a covenant with someone, he will fulfill all the commandments even if no one tells him to.
‘You are mine and I am yours.’
Tagle, who also heads Caritas Internationalis, went on to explain the concept of the covenant relationship in the Old Testament. “The covenant relationship was formulated this way: ‘I will be your God and you will be My people. We belong to each other. You are mine and I am yours.’”
“’You are mine and I am yours…’ And when the covenant becomes life, because you are mine, you are no different from me. And because I am no different from you … and because in my heart you are always there and I am in your heart, I will not cheat you. I will not betray you. … I will not kill you. I will not be jealous of you. Why? Because I am in a covenant with you,” said Tagle in Filipino.
According to him, it is when this covenant weakens that there is a need for laws.
Afternoon of music
“As long as the covenant is strong…actually you don’t need laws. The laws emerge because people forget their covenant relationship. So in this sense, the laws are not just legal precepts; the laws are a reminder to return to the covenant. What needs to be healed is the covenant that was damaged. Sometimes, that’s what we lack,” noted Tagle.
Speaking to more than a thousand people gathered for an afternoon to “celebrate family through music,” the prelate said “only one who knows … what or who is truly important will be able to love.”
Organized by the Commission on Family and Life of the Archdiocese of Manila, headed by Fr. Joel Jason, the event was attended by members of various Catholic communities and organizations like Familia, Couples for Christ, Light of Jesus, Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, and Ligaya ng Panginoon.
Aside from personal testimonials, the event featured musical performances from the priest singing group Six Priests in the City and 29 AD., who sang OPM classics and a One Direction hit, among others. CBCPNews