Pinoys all over the southland observed Palm Sunday this past weekend to commemorate the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem, “the King of Kings riding a donkey, symbolizing Peace” rather than a horse which in the olden times meant “power as in overthrowing a nation.” This story has always been repeated to us when we were in high school by our most revered Franciscan nun teachers.We were informed that during Jesus’ journey, people sang “Hosanna” paving His way by waving palm branches while He was on His way to the olive garden “Getsemane” to pray.
When Maundy Thursday comes, Jesus celebrated His Last Supper or (Passover to the Jews) where He shared His last meal with his disciples. The following day, Good Friday or the Crucifixion, our family would be gathered in Church by 3:00 pm to listen to Bishop Byrne (our Cathedral’s Archbishop at the time) recite the “Seven Last Words.”
Good Friday to us, is the most significant day of prayer as this was the day we commemorate the death of Jesus who died for us and for this we should all be forever thankful to Him. We would visit, pray and touch the Crucifix ilaid down n the middle of the Church which was opened all night, to help us pray,find peace and meaning in our lives. By tradition, this was also the day we would go and visit seven (7) churches. In our town of Iba, visiting seven (7) churches wasn’t as difficult because we can always go to neighboring towns. But in Manila, due to traffic congestion. I remembered we would all have to ride a van to go to nearby Catholic churches from Quirino District (St. Joseph’s Church) to Cubao (Immaculate Conception), to Christ the King (Espana Ext.), UP Chapel, Santo Domingo, Quiapo and Santa Cruz Church.
On Good Saturday, we would join the procession early morning, usually at dawn, to celebrate the “Salubong” where the Blessed Virgin Mary meets with her son Jesus, usually done on a ceremonial area in town or inside the Church grounds.
Finally, as the saying goes, “Christ has died, Christ has Risen’” we celebrate Easter to honor the suffering of Jesus and welcome His resurrection.
May we celebrate this day of God’s resurrection with honoring our family with respect and love. Let’s not get overwhelmed by Easter’s commercialization of egg hunts, Easter flowers and turkey feast. Let Easter’s significance prevail in our hearts.