“THE best place to make a pilgrimage is not even a church. The best place to go is your conscience and allow the voice of right and wrong to prevail.” – Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President
The days making up this week hold a deep meaning to Filipino Catholics. Lent season comes to an end in the last week of Jesus’ life—traditionally called Holy Week. During this week, the important events of His finals days on Earth are revisited.
Remembering these events is more than a history lesson. To many devout Catholics, the 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.
The life, death and resurrection of 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.
“The Christian life is always about prayer, sacrifice and charity before Lent, after Lent and during Lent. This is 365 days,” Villegas reminded his fellow Catholics.
“Lent just highlights it, so to speak. Lent just puts the spotlight on these three … But outside Lent—during Easter, during Christmas—we should still be praying, sacrificing and doing charity for others. That’s the real discipleship of Christ.”
These are the same lessons Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle shared to Catholics.
“I think we all agree that the Passion of Christ is a story of love. It is a story of the greatest love that the world has known. We are invited today to accept His love, follow this love and follow our Redeemer in the way he loved,” Tagle during the Palm Sunday mass he celebrated at the reopened Manila Cathedral.
“We have so many neighbors, who are longing for love. Like Jesus, go to them, assure them that they are not alone,” Tagle advised, to make Holy Week more meaningful.
Lent and the Holy Week’s intent is to have a gathering for a good-natured intent: unity through reflective observance.
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/her reflections, this week is all about attesting one’s faith.
This Lenten Season’s message is simple: do right by others, through Christ’s example.

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