Palma to Catholics: Prioritize reflection over leisure

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. (File photo)
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. (File photo)

HOLY Week is essentially a time for reflection and prayer over pursuits for leisure, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said in his homily during the Palm Sunday mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on March 24, 2024.

He encouraged the Cebuano Catholic faithful to prioritize the solemnity of the occasion rather than indulging in leisure outings.

“Dunay pipila nalipay kon Semana Santa kay maghunahuna pag-ekskursyon sa kung asa man nga dapit, pero kung pwede lang atoang panahon ihatag lang sa Ginoo kay daghan mahinungdanon nga misteryo sa atong pagtuo. Mao gitawag og Holy Week kay mao magdala kanato pagtubo sa kinabuhing Kristohanon, sa pagkabalaan,” he said.

(Some find joy in planning excursions to various places during Holy Week, but if only we could dedicate this time solely to the Lord, as there are many significant mysteries in our faith to contemplate during Holy Week, which leads us to grow in our Christian life, in holiness.)

Start of Holy Week

Palm Sunday signifies the start of Holy Week, also known as Semana Santa, a significant religious observance in the Christian calendar that commemorates the final week of Jesus Christ’s life, his crucifixion, and his resurrection.

This year, the Catholic celebration began on March 24 and will end on Saturday, March 30.

Palma urged Cebuano faithful to gather in churches this week, stressing the importance of congregating to deepen their connection with God and understand Christ’s sacrifice.

“Akong punto, kung duna kita’y panahon sa laing butang, unta duna kitay panahon sa pamalandong sa mga pulong sa Ginoo,” he said.

(My point is, if we have time for other things, I hope we also have time to reflect on the words of the Lord.)

Meanwhile, Police Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas, in a forum on Wednesday, March 20, urged families planning travels or outings to observe precautionary security measures.

Pelare advised households to designate a security overseer or install closed-circuit television cameras to monitor activities at home while most are away.

He also suggested ensuring vehicle maintenance to prevent engine failure during travel and noting police numbers at destinations for emergency reporting.

Pelare stressed the importance of having readily available emergency hotline numbers, including those for the police, ambulances, and the Department of Health. / KJF


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