“MAY the virtues of kindness and benevolence that Christ exemplified serve as our inspiration to aid in the plight of our less fortunate fellowmen. Let the story of crucifixion challenge us to remain persevering in our struggle for a better life and a stronger society,” said President Rodrigo Duterte in his Holy Week message to Filipinos this Lenten season.
Despite being a known critic of the Church, Duterte imparted his wish that Filipinos would experience a meaningful and purposeful Holy Week.
“This moment of renewal of our faith sends a message of solidarity to everyone regardless of our denomination. Despite our differences as individuals, may we always choose to embody compassion as Chris has personified,” he added.
As Filipinos flocked to churches on Sunday, April 9 to have their palm fronds blessed—in commemoration of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem— Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reminded the Filipino faithful of how the tradition symbolized the acceptance of Jesus.
“Accepting the real Jesus is accepting His presence among the poor; those who get spat at and insulted in the society; those who kept silent even when they are being slapped. But they are the ones who have dignity because only God knows the truth. And that’s how Jesus is, and that’s how we should follow Him,” Tagle said.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ hold a fundamental place in the lives of most Filipino Catholics. It is central, not as an abstract belief, but rather as a medium of experience and tradition that provides continuity in life, structure in the community, and principled purpose for existence.
Remembering these events is more than a history lesson. To many devout Catholics, Holy Week is a chance to reenact the significant moments of Jesus Christ’s life. Pinoy Catholics reflect upon the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ through prayers.
Some pray for good health and fortune, while others wish for deliverance. Some ask for a miracle, a few want to give thanks. Regardless of one’s desire behind his or her reflections, this week is all about attesting one’s faith.
Regardless of one’s desire behind his/her reflections, this week is all about attesting one’s faith. This season’s message is simple: do right by others, through Christ’s example.
The life and times of Jesus Christ leave us with a great example to emulate. We are called to live like saints, not to make a mark in the world through suffering or death, but to appeal similar honest lives. Saintly people live life the best way they can—to simply make a difference. (AJPress)