LET ME greet each one, “Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Peace be with you, the Lord has risen! Alleluia!” Anyway, we are still in the Easter season. The Holy week or make it the whole Lenten season gave us a chance to be mindful of how one could be a servant-leader like Christ. His resurrection is a triumph over all the “deaths” that we have encountered in our daily lives.
“Deaths” means our daily chores, routines, pride, poverty, injustices and our sinfulness. The triumph of the Cross redeems each one of us from all these “deaths.” However, it very sad to note that the celebration remains in rites and rituals and not on our daily actions.
I come across a question of a very dear priest-friend who threw the question “which is better the “visita iglesia” or visiting the sick in the hospital? Or he further asked, “Which is better the Mass of the Last Supper, the veneration of the Holy Cross and the Easter Vigil, or the summer heat in the beaches of the far south and north of the province?” These are questions that need pondering and wondering.
A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine was planning to bring his family to a resort during the holy days. He planned to go on Wednesday and come back on Saturday evening. They planned to have the family outing somewhere in the far end of the province. But news broke out on the military-Abu Sayyaf encounter in Bohol, so he has to drop the whole idea of excursion, but instead posted on his wall that the family would instead stay home and reflect on the passion and death of Christ and would actively participate in the ceremonies of the Church. It was a good decision and I congratulate him but soon, I saw on his social media account, pictures of his family’s escapade in a resort.
So, how did we celebrate the holy days? Did we really reflect on the passion of Christ? Did our experience of Good Friday made Easter meaningful to us? Did Easter Sunday liberate us? Where are we now in the life of our faith?
The celebration of the holy days before was done with the theme “Alay Kapwa,” or an offering to the least of our brethren. It was a practice that the money saved from fasting and abstinence during Ash Wednesdays and the Fridays of Lent should be offered to the least of our brethren. In some parishes, the collecta coming from the savings will be used for the banquet on Maunday Thursday for the members of the Basic Ecclesial Communities. The BECs will have a salu-salo after the mass of the Last Supper. However, these days the practice of fasting and abstinence are more of rites and rituals rather than for this noble intention.
Easter would only become a meaningful event if we have really known of holy days.
Birthday greetings to my dear daughter CJ (April 21), and Rev. Fr. Persiuz Joseph Decena, OAR (April 22). My congratulations to Rev. Fr. Antonio Limchaypo, OAR; Rev. Fr. Emilio Quilatan, OAR; and Rev. Fr. Joel Naranja, OAR for the Silver Jubilee celebration of their sacerdotal ordination (April 19).
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on April 22, 2017.
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