FOR the most part of the week leading up to Easter Sunday, the Catholic community, a majority in Philippine society, will come to a halt, tucked in the arms of family and away from the usual grind of making a living.
It will be a long weekend’s worth of rites, with all the distractions shut off for the whole duration, the city’s traffic veins almost anemic even.
The Holy Week has always been that one long occasion in every Catholic’s life to take a pause. Always, there is that persistent flock that remains true to the rites—fasting, Visita Iglesia, the Way of the Cross, among others.
The slowdown likewise is a throwback to that one story of the great sacrifice of Christ, He who gave His life to save mankind from sin and while beaten down to a pulp left a singular yet perpetually wise word—Love your neighbor as you love yourself. One brevity so exponential.
There is much to be said about the significations of all the rites we perform as faithful in remembrance of Christ’s crucifixion. Let’s leave the more complex meaning-making to the theology experts, but what we do know and what we can seem to grasp is that message of love for our neighbors, something we need to reflect on in a supposedly silent week following weeks of incessant bloodletting in the country.
Just what exactly are these rites in the name of love for when, next week, we’ll be back as citizens who applaud all the killings, curse those who disagree with us, cheer at rape jokes, sell our votes, forget the basic tenets of human rights, rule of law? Where in the world is that damn love you promised this week?
This is one crucial affair to take a pause and stop being reckless for once. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma advises the Catholic community to stay with the family. It makes much sense because family happens to be the safest spot on Earth, and of course we know the times.
This week, let us all go home. Stay where we are at our best and kindest. Fight lies, reject cursing, speak out against fallaciousness, tell the young there is hope.