ALMOST two years ago, I went on training as correspondent for the Union of Catholic Asian News. That opened my eyes to the world of news writing for the Catholics in the globe.

On assignment, our team – a lady from Ilocos Norte, a male reporter from Palawan, and I – were assigned to the Mall of Asia as our news source. We had to find out the perception and practices of the Catholic mall goers on Good Friday. Of course, it was exciting to plan our interview and the questions that we would ask so that we could meet some standards that we set. We had our preconceptions and had some notion of how the whole article would run even before we got to the mall.

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We of course approached mall goers about what they normally did during Good Friday and almost the majority said that they stayed home and practiced abstinence. To complete the abstinence bit, abstinence from eating meat, it was.

We giggled among ourselves at the thought about abstinence from sex as one of our follow up questions to the abstinence but the Catholic part of said that it could offend some people.

Cutting the story short, we had our notions validated by the eating public regarding the practice of taking a quiet day in deference to the suffering of Jesus.

Thus, we went on to talk to the fast food stall owners to confirm the menu that would be served on Good Fridays. It was then that our bubble burst! The mall closed on Good Friday and reopened on Black Saturday. That was goodbye to an article on the Catholics.

But greater than that was some admiration for Henry Sy and his wife who had made the closure of the malls on Good Friday as their supreme sacrifice for God’s sending His only Son to save the world. Any business tycoon would have better sense than to lose all the millions from all the SM branches closure for a day. But I guess, the devote Catholic that Mrs. Sy is has made this a commitment to the Heavenly Father.

My admiration could not be described because I do not have the millions but I do not even slow down on Good Fridays, albeit make a sacrifice. I was truly ashamed of myself and vowed that the next time, I should take the time to reflect on my mission and duty to God.

Thus, that very Good Friday, for the first time in my life, I joined the late Atty. Ed Quiano and wife for the station of the cross at Suello Village and observed how the crucifixion is reenacted. I was even more ashamed of myself when I interviewed the children who knew exactly the meaning of the church services that day.

Aye, it is Good Friday next week and Easter too. It is time to reflect on the year that has passed and how I am made to sacrifice as part of my mission for God. I ask God for forgiveness for my sins but thank Him for the rich life that I live. I pray that He may smile upon Henry Sy and his family because they show us that God is more important than the money.

A thousand blessings to all of you. May God smile and shower you with blessings for the little sacrifice that you do in remembrance of His Son’s death and resurrection. Happy Easter in advance.