Sunday, April 1, 2007

I, Sinner

Yes. I am. We all are.

Today is Palm Sunday. Being a Catholic, I wouldn't say that I'm obliged to attend mass but I made sure I won't miss it even after coming from my shift.

It's not a normal Sunday Mass at the EDSA Shrine. A lot more people. Twice the number of regular Knights of the Altar. Better choir (peace...). And most of all the celebration is indeed to start off, technically, the Holy Week.

When I was still a kid, my mom would always tell us to take a bath early Good Friday morning as it's a sin to do it after 3pm. Patay daw kasi ang Diyos. If my neighbors and friends are up early, we'd ride a pick-up truck, travel to Cainta and witness live re-enactment of Christ carrying the cross, beaten by the soldiers and even crucified. Ouch! Be extra careful coz if you get a cut, wound or injury, it won't heal fast. Never turn on the TV or radio, well, you don't have a choice back then. Everything falls oh silent and peaceful when the clock hits 3pm. The Lord is dead. Oh my. But, don't worry son, He'll be resurrected this Sunday.

Black Saturday, I would go to our town proper and get a nice place to wait for the Amba. It's the life-size image of Christ being laid to rest after being taken down from the cross. You know how riot it is during the Black Nazarene's feast in Quiapo? We have our own version too.

Those were the usual things I did and practiced during Holy Week when I was younger. But as the years went by, I noticed that a lot has been changed. There's cable TV and internet. Malls are open. People going to vacation spots, beaches and people even have work! I myself, will only have Easter Sunday as the only day that I won't report for work.

I, Sinner.

During the mass, while the Gospel was being read ala radio drama, I recalled the scenes from the movie Passion of the Christ. It still gives me goosebumps up to now. Wow. I can't believe how punishments could be back then. The movie garnered mixed reviews, praises and criticisms but for me, it made my faith stronger.

Despite all these changes in technology and somewhat loss of the real essence of the Holy Week, let's not all forget that it's the time of the year that we all remember how our Lord saved us from our sins. Say a little prayer. Reflect. Repent. A few minutes with Him won't hurt. I am no perfect person. I still have lapses in my faith. I am no saint. But I make sure I give due time to the Lord.

You, the one reading this may not be a Christian. May not be Catholic. May have another religion. May not even have a religion. But remember, having faith and standing by your belief is more important in this life.

May all of you have a blessed Holy Week.

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