A MESSAGE of hope and the power of forgiveness prevailed during the shared reflection of the "Siete Palabras" at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Good Friday, Apr.19.
The Siete Palabras or the Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ before he died on the cross is one of the highlights of the Holy Week.
Rev. Fr. Joriz Calsa, SDB, Head, Commission on Youth of the Ministry of the Salesians Don Bosco for Visayas and Mindanao, related his encounters with the youth to the first of Christ's seven last words: "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
After citing how some of the elders in the society, at times, hastily judge the youth of today, Calsa shared that the youth are victims only of the present culture that forced them to behave the way they do.
"Wala'y bata nga namugna nga dautan, biktima lamang sila sa kultura nga namugna. I have met many child victims of crimes committed by adults. Forgiveness means love, and it must start at home," he said.
Another priest, Rev. Fr. Joselito Gutierrez, reiterated the message of forgiveness during his sharing of his reflection for the second word.
"We are all given the chance to change and bring back ourselves to God just as the thief whom Christ had promised to bring with Him in paradise when they were on the cross," he said in Cebuano.
Maria Liza Jorda, a city prosecutor, shared that just as how Jesus Christ instructed the son to behold his mother and the mother to behold her son on his third last word, it is also important for everyone to respect and empathize with those who are suffering.
A former drug addict, Alan Andrei Badayos, delivered a message of hope when he shared his personal battle against drugs and liquor addiction, and how he overcame it.
"Dili ra diay ako ang nag struggle to fight the disease of addiction. Tanan spiritual problems, naay solution," he said.
A father and his son reflected on the last of the seven last words and shared of how their intention to involve God and the church, has helped them fix their family relationship.
After the Siete Palabras, a Liturgy of the Word and the Veneration of the Cross led by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma followed.
Afterwards, the faithful and the members of the Catholic church gathered outside the cathedral and joined on the solemn procession of the Santo Entierro. (WBS)