BACOLODNONS have shown their love to Jesus Christ and His disciples as Christian devotees observed profoundly the Holy Week, April 14 to 21.
Holy week has served as a great opportunity for all the believers to know Jesus Christ deeply in the spiritual realm as they focused more on the meaning and significance of His immense value to them.
A lot of people spent their Holy week by observing and attending religious traditions and events.
This writer was a witness as to how the Christian community - Catholics, Aglipayans, Protestants among others, honored and served the Lord Jesus Christ during the Holy Week.
Christians venerate on the sufferings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
They indeed felt the victory of Jesus Christ on His resurrection after enduring all the severest pains and physical torture inflicted on his physical body by the Roman soldiers.
His resurrection showed great love to humanity and served as a re-assurance to all Christians that He will never leave us.
He fulfilled His mission to the Father by giving up His precious life for us by way of a painful and torturous death.
From His arrest to his painful execution by crucifixion, Jesus Christ remained faithful to the Father and to His beloved people.
The Passion of Christ reminds us of the humility, patience and unconditional love of God to us even if we don't deserve any of it.
Everybody has been spiritually recharged after spending their Holy week by reflecting on the words and life of Jesus Christ through fasting and repentance.
It started on Palm Sunday, a religious tradition where Catholics and others had their lukay or ramos (crosses made of palm branches) blessed by Bacolod Catholic Bishop Patricio A. Buzon, SBD, D.D. at the first hour of the morning on April 14 inside the public plaza.
After that, priests and deacons took turn in blessings the "lukays or ramos" held and shaken by the Catholic devotees when it was sprinkled with holy water.
All throughout the weeklong observance of lent, churches in Bacolod City and in the Province of Negros Occidental, were frequently visited by devotees as they attend mass and other religious activities like processions and Via Crucis (Station or Way of the Cross) which are done in the morning of Good Friday. One of the highlights of the Holy Week is the Good Friday where Jesus Christ suffered and died to save us from our sins. People were sentimental seeing the likes of Warren De Asis of the Talisay Taltal Organization (TaTo) who portrayed the sacrifices, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ in the hands of His tormentors, the Romans, who ridiculed, shamed and tortured him publicly at the Calvary.
The sun was excruciating on Good Friday but Warren, the Jesus Christ of Talisay City, endured the physical toll of his portrayal.
He said it was not easy to bear the pain and sufferings of Jesus Christ, but serving Him through the Taltal (crucifixion) gave him and his family, more blessings.
"I was praying hard that Jesus Christ will just allow me to endure the physical toll and He did. I and my group are able to finish the Taltal, sweating, drained, but spiritually blessed. It gave us physical and morale boost. Thank God, He allowed us to execute our plans of holding the Taltal and it turned out to be a resounding success," he said.
Internment of the dead Christ
During the procession on Good Friday, Bacolod has surprised the Christian world with the presence of more or less 150,000 Catholics and Aglipayans who occupied the main streets of Bacolod for the send-off of Santo Entierro.
The procession highlighted around 30 Pasos (images of Saints and Disciples of Christ) which the faithful venerate with the Santo Entierro.
Pasos depict the scenes of the Passion of Christ. On Easter Sunday, the images of Mary Magdalene and the risen Jesus Christ highlighted an early morning procession to welcome the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The bishop’s Easter message
Bacolod Catholic Bishop Patricio A. Buzon, SBD, D.D. said Easter relays the message of victory and newness of Christians, the disciples of the Lord, who are invited to see and understand things according to our Easter faith.
The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is also our story. Each time we interpret events according to our own understanding, the Risen Lord comes to us. He accompanies us in our darkness and our waywardness. He re-interprets our stories for us and He becomes truly our guide so that we may finally rediscover our better selves and find our way.
This Easter, we allow the Risen Lord to show us the way - His way. Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Christ interpreted to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself. (Luke 24: 26 to 27).
As we celebrate Christ's entering into glory, we are reminded that this glory can also be ours, only if we follow Jesus all the way - that we too, like our Master, have to suffer these things and only then shall we also enter into the promised glory. As the Master, so is a disciple. May we all have a glorious and joy-filled Easter, Bishop Buzon said.