Easter sends message of love and hope

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Tita C. Valderama

WHILE watching the procession of carrozas with life-sized statues of saints and tableaus depicting the passion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in Baliuag, Bulacan, the text printed on the T-shirts of a group of participants caught my attention. It said: “He died for me, I’ll live for Him.”

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The message becomes more striking when on Easter Sunday, Catholics who attended mass renewed their baptismal vows to reject Satan and profess their faith in God.

At this time when so many negative things are around us, the tests of our faith appear more challenging.

The biblical messages on Holy Week do not ask us to be saints. The messages simply call upon us to be good to others. And the renewal of baptismal vows on Easter, I believe, is simply a chance for us to do things better, and to love others more.

The Holy Week rituals remind us to sacrifice, especially for our families and friends. Whether Catholic or not, work stops on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to give us time to reflect. It is not just a long weekend for trips abroad or to the beach, or to laze around the house. We can do both at the same time.

During the Holy Week, what I observed in most places I had a chance to visit and in photos uploaded by friends on social media, was the bonding of families in religious as well as in fun activities in and outside the home.

For a few days, we set aside politics, perhaps because media networks that continued to broadcast news breaks dealt more with the traffic situation and the Holy Week rituals than with political news.

We heard less cursing, and read fewer fake news and stories about killings. In short, life was more pleasant and less disgusting.

With the Holy Week over, let us hope that the messages of hope, love, and sharing will remain with us.

Personally, the Holy Week brought back good memories of loved ones who had gone ahead. I remembered joining my parents in Good Friday processions in our town, and witnessing the lighting of the fire and midnight “salubong” before the Easter Sunday mass.

I remembered joining Ate Edith and the kids in the Visita Iglesia on Maundy Thursday and staying until Easter Sunday at Ditse’s home in Indang, Cavite.

With our parents, Ate Edith and Ditseng Vangie all gone, a mixed feeling of sadness over their passing and joy for having spent meaningful Holy Week observances with them enveloped me while I tried to share more good memories with other siblings, nephews and nieces.

Although I brought along my laptop and paper work during my two-day stay at our provincial home, work had to take a back seat as I prioritized spending time with my loved ones.

Indeed, we realize the value of someone or something when they’re gone. We tend to take them for granted when they’re around, and regret spending more time with them later. That is why I always prioritize sharing my time with loved ones than regret later on.

I am glad that my nephews and nieces show courtesy, respect, and love for others, as we have taught them. They treat each other as siblings, as we want them to.

They frowned at children who just barged into our farm even before we left the place, knowing that it was discourteous of them. But then, it was Holy Week and you have to share with others whatever you have. I just hoped that their parents taught them the basic courtesy of asking permission before using something that does not belong to them.

I wanted to tell the kids that what they did was wrong, but then I did not want to make them feel embarrassed.

Sometimes it happens that we just have to be forgiving and understanding, and bear in mind how our parents and other elders tolerated minor mistakes we may have committed.

On a deeper scale, it may help us feel better to think of the sacrifices Jesus went through for mankind. Just keep this in mind: He died for me, I’ll live for Him.

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