Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, said the story of suffering and death of Jesus Christ should wake people from indifference and inconsistency.
He urged Christians to focus on helping those who are in need, particularly during these trying times as the country and the rest of the world struggle against the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we hear the story of his suffering and death, let us be moved by his great passion — his love for us. Nagdusa siya ng lubos kasi lubos ang pagmamahal niya sa atin (He suffered greatly because of his abounding love for us),” the prelate said. “His suffering should lead us to sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow for our sins, for our indifference. And gratitude
for his great love and solidarity with us.”
Pabillo also expressed confidence that the shift from the traditional Holy Week activities would be a good chance for Catholics to reflect on the essence and the meaning of the Lord’s Passion.
“Jesus was able to undergo his passion, his suffering because
of his passion for us is great love. Without this great passion, this
great love he will not be able to endure that passion, that suffering
for us,” he said.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), on Thursday said Christ died redeeming humanity from sin.
He called on the faithful to contemplate and meditate on the passion and suffering of the Lord.
“Images [inside the Church] are covered to let us focus more on Jesus and his passion, that is the carrying of the cross, crucifixion and death,” he said.
Secillano also reminded the faithful that fasting and abstinence were obligatory on Good Friday for certain age brackets.
“For fasting, those who are 18 years old till 60 are bound by this practice. Those who are infirmed and above 60 years old are not under this obligation,” he added. “They cannot substitute this obligation, however, with corporal works of mercy or acts of piety on Good Friday as per local norm.”
Fasting means eating one full meal a day with small snacks on the side.