Passion Sunday, “a bittersweet celebration”

palm-sunday-Pietro-di-Giovanni-dAmbrogio

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

More posts about:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

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

Leave a Comment

< 2020 >
September
SMTuWThFS
  1
  • All day
    September 1, 2020

    WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION

    NOVENA TO ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO BEGINS

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, D.D. (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Francisca de Sta. Maria, AR
    Sr. Placida Patrimonio, AR

2
  • All day
    September 2, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Miguel Miró (71st)
    Fray Federico Gregorio

3
  • All day
    September 3, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray James Erold Gatinao (simply prof.)
    Sr. Annielyn Alejado, AR
    Jay Warren Oberes (RAY-Balamban)
    Regina Kyle Regonas (RAY-Balamban)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1969-2020)
    Fray Hernando Coja

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Rosario Padilla, AR

4
  • All day
    September 4, 2020

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

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    OLCP- LARAY FIESTA MASS
    Time: 6:00 P.M.
    Presider: Fray Renie Villalino (Parish Priest)

    BIRTHDAY
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra, Sister General of the OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1993-2020)
    Fray Emilio Jaruda

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Melchora de Sta. Teresita de Jesus, AR
    Sr. Ma. Leonarda Muncada, AR

5
  • All day
    September 5, 2020

    CARES, BAGUIO CITY: MASS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (tentative date)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sixto Ciriaco Bitangjol
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi
    Camila Doctor (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Antonia Dinsay, AR

6
  • All day
    September 6, 2020

    55TH PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – DALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
    Presider: Most Rev. Peter Liu (Bishop of Kaohsiung)

    OLCP- MIRANILA FIESTA MASS
    Time: 11:00 A.M.
    Presider: to be announced later

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan

7
  • All day
    September 7, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Regino Bangcaya
    Sr. Anita Manigo, AR

8
  • All day
    September 8, 2020

    BIRTHDAY OF MAMA MARY

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray René Paglinawan
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Sr. Alejandra Bendoval, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE & SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Loraine Lechago, OAR

9
  • All day
    September 9, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Arlyn de la Cruz, AR
    Laurence Canillo (RAY-Balamban)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1985-2020)
    Fray Dionisio Selma (Prior Provincial)

10
  • All day
    September 10, 2020

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

    OPENING CELEBRATION OF THE FOURTH CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF THE PROVINCE OF SAN NICOLAS DE TOLENTINO

    50th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE PROVINCIALATE AS A COMMUNITY IN QUEZON CITY (Est. 1970)

    49th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF CSNT-R, TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (F: 1971)

    FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL
    Time: 10:00 A.M.
    Presider: Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD (Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod)

    FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – QUEZON CITY
    Time: 6:00 P.M.
    Presider: to be announced later

    FIESTA MASS IN HONOR OF SAN NICOLAS DE TOLENTINO
    @ Kristo Rai Church, Saipan, CNMI Time: 6:00 A.M. (Saipan Time)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Eufrocina Rusiana, AR
    Sr. Mary Grace Judith Alamares, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1989-2020)
    Fray Francisco Antonio
    Fray Amadeo Lucero

11
  • All day
    September 11, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan
    Davic James Cabatingan (RAY-Valencia)
    Dianne Morales (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2020)
    Fray Randolph Castulo Castillo
    Fray Charlito Orobia
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Fray Jonathan Caballero

12
  • All day
    September 12, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jorr Rabacal
    Gerald Artates (RAY-Provincialate)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1992-2020)
    Fray Leander Barrot
    Fray Paulino Dacanay

13
  • All day
    September 13, 2020

    FIESTA MASS @ HOLY CROSS PARISH, TALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
    Time: 3:00 P.M.
    Presider: Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos (Parish Priest)

    BIRTHDAY
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez, Brother General of the Order
    Robert John Navarro (RAY-Miranila)

    GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Fray Dionisio Cachero (1970-2020)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1997-2020)
    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo

14
  • All day
    September 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Lourdes Piccio, AR
    Sr. Floramae Lanuza, AR

15
  • All day
    September 15, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Morillo
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Beah Marie Ganarias (RAY-Bacolod)

16
  • All day
    September 16, 2020

    108th ANNIVERSARY OF RELIGIOSAS FAMILIAS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Robin Ross Plata (deacon)
    Sr. Mary Ann Lumactao, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Angeles Gabutina, AR

17
  • All day
    September 17, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Julia Tamsi (RAY-Baguio)
    Most Rev. Socrates Mesiona, D.D. (Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa)

18
  • All day
    September 18, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Sr. Ma. Ruth Gulane, AR

19
  • All day
    September 19, 2020

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

    FEAST – ST. ALONSO DE OROZCO

    SOLEMN PROFESSION OF VOWS OF FRAY RAMON BITANCOR III

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla
    Fray Joel Alve

20
  • All day
    September 20, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Nena Labrague, AR
    Sr. Kristine Ignacio, AR
    Estella Marie Andador (RAY-Talisay)

21
  • All day
    September 21, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Alexus Mansueto

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Isabel Pantoja, AR
    Sr. Salvacion Olalo, AR
    Sr. Ma. Susana Quiñones, AR

22
  • All day
    September 22, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marietta Angelica Gunayan, AR
    Sr. Nancy Macaraig, AR
    Sr. Sheryl Garcia, AR
    Lebron Jay Bantog (RAY-Valencia)

23
  • All day
    September 23, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Vicente Ramon, Jr.

    ANNIVERSAY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Roberto Gaa (Diocese of Novaliches)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Sebastiana Jaropojop, AR
    Sr. Agustina Salcedo, AR

24
  • All day
    September 24, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sugarrey Rendajae (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2020)
    Fray Emeterio Buñao

25
  • All day
    September 25, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lucita Mingueto, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Esperanza Heffler, AR

26
27
  • All day
    September 27, 2020

    106th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
    Theme: “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”
    (Pope Francis’ Message: http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/migration/documents/papa-francesco_20200513_world-migrants-day-2020.html )

    2020 WORLD TOURISM DAY
    (cf. Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)
    (Prefect’s Message:http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/sviluppo-umano- integrale/documents/rc_sviluppo-umano-integrale_20200806_messaggio-gm- turismo2020_it.html )

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rafaela Paras, AR
    Sr. Damiana Tafalla, AR
    Sr. Ma. Melodina Ramirez, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Genoveva del Santissimo Sacramento, AR

28
  • All day
    September 28, 2020

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

    BLESSED MARTYRS OF JAPAN

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Bp. Peter Liu of Kaohsiung (Taiwan) [1994-2020]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Iluminada Apurillo, AR

29
  • All day
    September 29, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roderick Deguit

30
  • All day
    September 30, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ferdinand Fornilos

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2017-2020)
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Fray Mark Saludes

   

Categories