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 >
December
SMTuWThFS
1
  • All day
    December 1, 2019

    1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    40th INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
    Start of the Procession: 4:00 P.M.
    Carroza #67: Nuestra Sra. de la Salud

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1984-2019)
    Fray Constantino Real

    (2007-2019)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2014-2019)
    Fray Cornelio Moral

23
  • All day
    December 3, 2019

    ENCOUNTER OF NATIONAL SARF PRESIDENTS
    General Curia, Rome December 3-6, 3019

    SILVER PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1994-2019)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2011-2019)
    Fray Crisostomo Garnica

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2019

    431ST ANNIVERSARY (1588-2019) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    28th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1995-2019)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2019)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2019)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2019)
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Paul Demillones
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Grace Gicos, OAR (2014-2019)

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2019) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Granada

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Juana de Sta. Rita

6
  • All day
    December 6, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2019

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    OLCP Church, Miranila, QC / Time: 9:00 AM
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D.
    Ordinandi:
    Fray Jorr S. Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy A. Gallego
    Fray Andrie S. Pugate
    Fray Tomokatsu N. Yamaguchi
    Fray Jessriel L. Marcha

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR
    Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR

8
  • All day
    December 8, 2019

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    ROME: Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Spanish Steps (1600H, Rome Time)

    150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE OPENING OF THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL (1869)

    JUBILEE YEAR (Dec. 8, 2019 – Dec. 10, 2020): Marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Our Lady of Loreto as the patron saint

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1967-2019)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2019)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2019)
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2019)
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2019)
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

9
  • All day
    December 9, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    December 9-13, 2019 / Rome

    40TH DEATH ANIIVERSARY (1979-2019) OF ARCHBP. FULTON SHEEN

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2002-2019)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    Sr. Potenciana de la Encarnacion

1011
  • All day
    December 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

12
  • All day
    December 12, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY
    (2001-2019)
    Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    SPECIAL BOT MEETING – UNO-R, BACOLOD
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 9:00 AM

    23rd PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2019

    GOLDEN PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1969-2019)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
  • All day
    December 14, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Charlito Orobia

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2019

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS December 16-18, 2019 / Rome

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
    Fray Nestor Raras

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2019

    BEATIFICATION OF VEN. FULTON SHEEN (1895-1979)
    10:00 a.m. / Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria, IL., USA

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1965-2019)
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2019

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1986-2019)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (1989-2019)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ricky John Austria (simply prof.)

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2019

    CHRISTMAS DAY
    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 NN (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1980-2019)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Gavino, AR

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF AUXILIARY BISHOP- ELECT DARÍO RUBÉN QUINTANA MUÑIZ, OAR (Diocese of Mar del Plata, Argentina)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2019

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JESÚS MARÍA LÓPEZ MAULEÓN, OAR (Territorial Prelature of Alto Xingu-Tucumã, Para, Brazil)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2019

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Viñon, AR

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2019

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO BRAZIL

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!

    

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