This week has not been much different from other weeks in the year.
The United Kingdom, its European allies, and the United States expelled over a hundred Russian diplomats over a nerve agent attack, blamed on Moscow, on a former Russian spy now living in Britain.
China warned the US that it was ready to defend its interests after US President Trump announced plans to slap tariffs on US imports of some $50 million in Chinese goods. China also staged a show of force with naval exercises around its aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.
In the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) Founding Chairman Jose Ma. Sison said its New People’s Army (NPA) will have to continue fighting as President Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana appeared cold to a House of Representatives resolution signed by 61 congressmen, calling for resumption of peace talks.
Boracay tourist establishments faced closure for at least six months due to violations that had made it a “cesspool,” to use the President’s own description of the country’s top tourist attraction.
In his Lenten message this year, Pope Francis cited other problems in the world today: “How many young people are taken in by the panacea of drugs, of disposable relationships, of easy but dishonest gains?“ he asked. He lamented the violence against “the unborn child, the elderly and infirm, the migrant, the alien among us, or our neighbor who does not live up to our expectations.”
Our own Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle invited all to reach out to others. “We invite you all to join us in making small gestures of compassion towards migrants you meet on your daily journeys. To Caritas, he said, “a migrant is a person on the move, who needs accompaniment, support, and protection…. They may be refugees or asylum seekers. They may be internally displaced within their own country by a conflict or a natural disaster, or may have moved to seek work. They may be adults or children, on their own or with their families. They may have been trafficked.”
On this Easter Sunday, at the end of this Holy Week, let us heed these words from the religious leaders of this country which has been called the only Christian nation in Asia. The world may continue to be full of conflict. But on this Easter Sunday, let this Christian holiday of love and hope inspire us to resist the temptation to be discouraged by all the bad news in the world and, instead, do what we can for others in need.