Passion Sunday, “a bittersweet celebration”

Today, with the celebration of the Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday, we begin the Holy Week. And this Sunday, according to Pope Francis, is “a bittersweet celebration” because it is both joyful and sorrowful at the same time. Joyful, because we celebrate the Lord’s entrance to Jerusalem as King, amid the rejoicing crowd (who cried out: “Hosanna in the highest!”). Sorrowful, because we also proclaim the account of the Lord’s Passion and Death (in which that same crowd shouted: “Crucify him!”).

The four (4) Gospel writers (Mt., Mk., Lk., and Jn.) wrote their own version of the Passion and Death of Jesus. Today is from the version of Luke. (Well, it’s like pancit: you may have different varieties of it depending on the restaurant or carenderia where you buy it. Surely one’s own version has its unique taste that goes with one’s own set of ingredients, manner of preparation, etc.)

Similarly, Luke has some details that can only be found in his narrative, and we wish to point out some of these from where we can proceed for further reflection:

First is Luke’s emphasis on the bounty and mercy of Jesus in many episodes. One of these is in our Gospel today: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34). He did not just bid his disciples to forgive always and unconditionally those who cause them harm, but Jesus himself gave the example.

Second, the meeting between Herod and Jesus (Lk. 23:4-12). Herod here is the son of the more famous Herod who ordered the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem. He was not wicked like his father, but he was weak and corrupt. He imagined Jesus to be like an expert in magic (so when Pilate sent Jesus to him to have his opinion about the accusations, he was overjoyed and hoped to witness some magic tricks. To his dismay, Jesus did not utter a single word in his presence.

Now, that leads us to ponder on the deeper meaning of silence. Archbp. Villegas said: “There is virtue in silence. There is virtue in speech. Wisdom is knowing when it is time for silence and when is the timing for speech.”

He further said: “There is nobility in silence like the silence of the lambs brought to slaughter in the temple to atone for sins. There is the silence of the desert mystics that pierced the hidden secrets of the heart of God. There is the silence of the woman who treasured all those things in her heart. [And we add: There is the silence during the Holy Week that allows us to re-discover and re-appreciate the true meaning and direction of our earthly life.] Silence indeed is the language of God and only those who speak silence will be able to grasp Him.”

Third, the meeting the group, among them were many women, who accompanied Jesus on the way to Calvary. Jesus met this group “who mourned and lamented for him” (Lk. 23:27-31) They were not guilty of what was taking place, and were mourning for the sins of others.

Here, there is a show of care and concern, of involvement and solidarity. We recall a portion of that famous CBCP Pastoral Letter last year which said: “We have a saying in Tagalog, ‘Ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay ramdam ng buong katawan.’ (‘The pain of one part of the body is felt by the whole body.’) Alas, this is not always true! There is no way we can feel each other’s pains when some parts of the body are numbed by sheer indifference.”

In this season of “almsgiving”, how can we concretely manifest care and concern for our fellowmen according to our capacity (health-wise and resources-wise)? In what way can we perform some corporal and spiritual works of mercy?

Customary scene at USJ-R’s hallway facing the Carbon Market (photo credits: Edmond Navarro)

Fourth, while all the evangelists mentioned the fact that Jesus was crucified between two thieves (who were not just small time village thieves, but really murderers and criminals), and Matthew and Mark said that the two kept on insulting Jesus, Luke’s account is different. While one insulted Jesus, the other reprimanded his colleague, and calling Jesus by name, asked him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The dying Jesus replied: “Today, you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).

With this, we come full circle with God’s mercy and compassion especially towards sinners, the outcast. Remember that the Gospel of Luke begins with the poorest, the last, the impure in Israel: the shepherds. It continued to show us the Master among the publicans, the sinners, the prostitutes. Towards the end of Jesus’ earthly life, he was surrounded by two poor and unhappy people who had done much wrong in life. Now Jesus returns to the Father in the company of one who represents us all: a sinner won over by his love.

As we celebrate this “bittersweet” Sunday, “let us choose to focus on worshipping our Lord and King—the King of justice, mercy and peace—thanking Him for the gift of His sacrifice, celebrating the power of the Resurrection, and the new life found in Him alone.”


Featured image photo credits: www.crossroadsinitiative.com

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Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil F. Almayo, OAR, is currently the Provincial Secretary of the St. Ezekiel Moreno Province and Chairman of the Commission on Communications and Publications-Recoletos

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< 2019 >
August
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    1
  • All day
    August 1, 2019

    USJ-R BALAMBAN: LAUNCHING OF BUWAN NG WIKA

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

2
  • All day
    August 2, 2019

    CST-R/CSNT-R: LAUNCHING OF BUWAN NG WIKA

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Amada de Ramon, AR

3
  • All day
    August 3, 2019

    SIMPLE PROFESSION OF VOWS / Monteagudo, Spain

    REPORTING OF NEOPHYTES TO CARES BAGUIO RST: START OF ENROLMENT

    PARISH FIESTA (30th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY) OF OLCP-R, LARAY, TALISAY CITY, CEBU
    Fiesta Mass: 5:00 PM
    Presider: to be communicated later

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Sr. Felma Elbanbuena, AR

4
  • All day
    August 4, 2019

    ST. JOHN MARIE VIANNEY SUNDAY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP II, 5c)

    ORDER-LEVEL MEETING OF THE SECTION FOR INTIAL FORMATION
    August 4-6 / Spain

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr.
    Fray Jazzy Jeff Montanez (simple. prof.)
    Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D. (Diocese of San Carlos)
    Sr. Felisa Costonera, AR
    Sr. Eleuteria Lao, AR
    Sr. Yvette Galabo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D. (Diocese of San Carlos)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
    Sr. Zenaida Ty, AR

5
  • All day
    August 5, 2019

    POST-EXPOSURE REPORTING OF DEACONS TO THE PROVINCIAL CURIA

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY (2007-2019)
    Fray Oscar de la Rosa

6
  • All day
    August 6, 2019

    TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU PROVINCE

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Consuelo de San Agustin, AR

7
  • All day
    August 7, 2019

    19th PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    ARRIVAL IN CEBU OF ARCORES INT’L VOLUNTEERS FOR MONTHLY IMMERSION IN CASIAN ISLAND

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Concepcion Reston, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Concepcion Balin, AR

8
  • All day
    August 8, 2019

    CoHCH-R ANNUAL EVALUATION & PLANNING
    Inclusive Dates: August 8-9, 2019
    Venue: Bulwagang Recoletos, Miranila, Quezon City

    TURN OVER OF THE SACRED HEART SCHOOL OF CAVITE TO THE RECOLLECTS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Queaño II (simple prof.)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Regina Bianes, AR

9
  • All day
    August 9, 2019

    WORLD DAY OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (cf. LAMP 52)

    SSC-R CAVITE: MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

10
  • All day
    August 10, 2019

    START OF NOVENA TO ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    ARRIVAL OF THE CURSO DE PREPACIÓN PARTICIPANTS

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Yolanda Navea, AR
    Sr. Myrna Arcegono, AR

11
  • All day
    August 11, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF SAN ROQUE PARISH
    Saipan, CNMI
    Time: 4:00 P.M. (Saipan Time)
    Presider: Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D.

12
  • All day
    August 12, 2019

    2nd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE QUASI PARISH OF N.S. DEL CARMEN IN HNATUAN, SURIGAO DEL SUR

    RST: MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT / CLASSES START

    APAC CONVENTION 2019
    Venue & Date: Ketapang, Indonesia / August 12-14, 2019
    Theme: “Augustinians on Common Mission in Indonesia”

13
  • All day
    August 13, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Casiano Cosmilla

1415
  • All day
    August 15, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Mo. Ma. del Carmen, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Mamerta de San Agustin, AR

16
  • All day
    August 16, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION (1980-2019)
    Fray Constantino Real

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Adoracion Bonto, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Tomasa de San Jose, AR
    Sr. Ma. Leonila Pesado, AR

17
  • All day
    August 17, 2019

    ST. CLARE OF MONTEFALCO

    CARES: MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS IN HONOR OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel (near Balon-Pari), Inagawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
    Time: 10:00 A.M.
    Presider: Fray Regino Bangcaya

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mashyll Entac, AR

18
  • All day
    August 18, 2019

    ANTICIPATED FIESTA MASS IN HONOR OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    @ San Roque Parish, Saipan, CNMI
    Time: 6:00 AM (Saipan Time)
    Presider: to be communicated later

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS
    @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel, Fanhua, Zhangzhi township, Pingtung County (Diocese of Kaohsiung), Taiwan
    Time: 10:00 A.M.
    Presider: Fray Nimrod Launio

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION OF A RELIGIOUS BROTHER (2001-2019)
    Fray Raymund Rueann Alcedo

19
  • All day
    August 19, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP II, 5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS OF THE ST. EZEKIEL MORENO QUASI PARISH, CAIDIOCAN, VALENCIA, NEGROS ORIENTAL
    Time: 10:00 AM
    Presider: to be communicated later

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SEMONORE (Antipolo City)
    Time: 10:00 AM
    Presider: to be communicated later

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SNTP Church (Quezon City)
    Time: 6:00 PM Presider: to be communicated later

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel (Pingkian, OLCP-Miranila, Quezon City)
    Time & Presider: to be communicated later

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Monastery (Bacolod City)
    Time: 8:00 A.M.
    Presider: Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, D.D.

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel, Mile 14, Kamabai, Sierra Leone
    Time: 10:30 A.M.
    Presider: Fray Mark Ryan Prado

    RENEWAL INPUT SEMINAR ON “MAXIMUM ILLUD”
    Time: 3:00 P.M. Venue: Recoletos de Provincialate

    1st ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RECOLETOS DE BALAMBAN COMMUNITY

    START OF THE NOVENA TO ST. AUGUSTINE

    90th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CANONICAL ERECTION OR DIOCESAN APPROVAL OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECT SISTERS (1929-2019) BY ARCHBP. O’DOHERTY OF MANILA UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THEN PRIOR GENERAL, FRAY GERARDO LARRONDO, OAR.

    QUEZON CITY DAY

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2002-2019)
    Fray Louie Gabinete
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo

    (2007-2019)
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Fray Allan Jacinto

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR

20
  • All day
    August 20, 2019

    27th ASEACCU (Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities) ANNUAL CONFERENCE
    Venue: Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea
    Inclusive dates: August 20-23, 2019
    Theme: “Reconciliation and the Situation in the East Asian Region”

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JOSE RAMIREZ RAPADAS III (AS BISHOP OF ILIGAN, Lanao del Norte)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Charlemagne Marin (simple prof.)

21
  • All day
    August 21, 2019

    ST. POPE PIUS X

    NINOY AQUINO DAY

    INSTALLATION OF BP. DENNIS VILLAROJO, D.D. (BISHOP OF MALOLOS, Bulacan)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

22
  • All day
    August 22, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT ROBERTO GAA (AS BISHOP OF NOVALICHES)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leander Barrot
    Fray Paul Demillones

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Lino Agunod (2007-2019)
    Sr. Ma. Fe Luna, AR
    Sr. Matilde del Rosario, AR

23
  • All day
    August 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Benecia Olaño, AR
    Sr. Gecel Polestico, AR

24
  • All day
    August 24, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP ROBERTO GAA, D.D. (BISHOP OF NOVALICHES)

    USJ-R BALAMBAN: SOLIDARITY ENCAMPMENT
    August 24-25 HARANA KAY MARIA (feat. The Madrigal Singers, Himig Consolacion, & OAR Singing Priests)
    OLCP Miranila / 8:00 PM

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION (1963-2019)
    Fray Emeterio Buñao
    Fray Dunstan Hubert Decena

25
  • All day
    August 25, 2019

    250th ANNIVERSARY (1769-2019) OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST RECOLETOS MISSIONARIES IN THE MARIANAS

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1991-2019)
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr.
    Fray Carmelo Borces
    Fray Leopoldo Estioko
    Fray Gaudencio Geronimo de Mesa
    Fray Nemesio Tolentin

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Veronica de los Santos, AR
    Sr. Andrea Cabunilas, AR

26
  • All day
    August 26, 2019

    NATIONAL HEROES’ DAY

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF THE ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO QUASI PARISH-RECOLETOS, Inayawan, Cebu City
    10:00AM
    Mass Presider: to be communicated later

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1967-2019)
    Fray Rafael Cabarles

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Afra Medillo, AR

27
  • All day
    August 27, 2019

    FEAST OF ST. MONICA
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Genoveva de Asis, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2009-2019)
    Fray Bob Cabanag

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Felicidad de Sto. Niño, AR

28
  • All day
    August 28, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP II, 5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    CSNT-R/SPA-R: CULMINATION OF BUWAN NG WIKA

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2019)
    Fray Raul Buhay

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Monica de San Joaquin, AR

29
  • All day
    August 29, 2019

    NATIONAL HEROES DAY

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Mo. Lourdes Eizaguirre, OAR

30
  • All day
    August 30, 2019

    CST-R/USJ-R BALAMBAN: CLOSING OF BUWAN NG WIKA

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Mo. Lourdes Eizaguirre, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Consuelo Dangan, AR

31

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