Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez

MANILA, Sept. 4, 2013—In giving help to the poor, one need not quantify the amount for it is the willingness to give that makes all the difference.

This was the message relayed by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez as he urged the laity on Saturday to be more sensitive and generous in extending a helping hand to those who are in need.

“We urge you to progress. We have the capability to give more than what we share. We can do so much more,” he said in the vernacular during the Pondo ng Pinoy’s 9th anniversary held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati.

“The word of God is alive. (This is) fraternal charity…you have been (called) by God to love one another,” he added.

The prelate noted the compassionate nature of Catholics, especially when unfortunate instances hound the nation and its people.

“Deep in the heart of each one of us, there is love…and love cannot be contained for it flows,” Cortez said.

Movement of the people

Joining the church in celebrating Pondo ng Pinoy’s anniversary, Cortez described the program as a church movement that works toward the improvement of the country through the collaborative action of its people.

“What is good in Pondo ng Pinoy is that through it, love spreads not in great things, but in small and ordinary ways given out of fidelity and love,” he said.

Founded by Archbishop Emeritus of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales in 2004, Pondo ng Pinoy is a church initiative that encourages the lay faithful to drop 25 centavos every day to donation boxes in various churches and schools.

“Pondo ng Pinoy has always been identified with crumbs. We do not give what is necessarily from us, not even what is valuable to us. And the giving comes from fidelity…giving (is done) out of love,” Cortez added.

He said the foundation discourages the donation of extravagant amount, noting that doing so defeats its purpose of fostering the spirit of continuous giving and sharing to the Filipino people.

“The principle behind Pondo ng Pinoy is not like that. When you give P20,000 today, it is less likely that you will donate the same amount tomorrow. What we would like to teach people is that when we heed the call of the poor, our hearts should be open to continuous helping because love is an act that must go on,” he said, citing an instance when a woman donated a pair of earrings worth P20,000 to the foundation.

“What matters in Pondo ng Pinoy is not the amount, but the disposition, attitude, and habit…the truth that our hearts are created by God to love and share to others,” Cortez added.

The prelate also stressed the great contribution of the faithful to the success of Pondo ng Pinoy, noting that their compassionate hearts helped the movement in promoting and strengthening its cause.

“The real asset of Pondo ng Pinoy is not so much in the amount (it has collected), rather it is the loving heart of each one of us. It just proves that love cannot be contained. It cannot be suppressed for it has to grow,” Cortez said.

Recognizing the innate talent possessed by each individual, Cortez called on the lay faithful to channel their respective talents into avenues that can benefit the greater majority.

“God has given us many talents. The word of God is encouraging us not waste them. Make your talents produce good fruit, and with the spirit of Pondo ng Pinoy, do it for the good of our less fortunate and brothers and sisters,” he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)