On Holy Wednesday, Ava and I were browsing on some late-night TV programs when we chanced upon a special feature by TV 5 with a topic on the Lenten Season.
Footages of people numbering to several hundreds converging inside the Baclaran church and Quiapo church were shown for a few moments, as the host explained the various reasons why Filipinos flock into various religious sanctuaries during this season.
The host cited reasons like: calling for God’s mercy and help in times of crisis (certainly, a lot of people do that nowadays because of the prevailing economic downturn as of the moment); religious tradition (two vendors from Quiapo said the practice of going to church has been passed down to them by their ancestors); seeking blessing while others say, for God to forgive them of their many sins.
The Lenten Season is usually one of the most anticipated religious seasons in the Philippines.
People go to the extent of flogging themselves with sharpened tip of a whip as they believe that doing such would make God forgive them.
Others sing the traditional “Pasion”, like the ones we now hear here in our neighborhood in Mandaluyong, while still others observe the “no-meat-no-play” tradition because Jesus is dead on Good Friday.
As I pondered on these things, I thanked the Lord once again for what He has accomplished on the cross more than two thousand years ago.
This verse in Mark 16:6 gives us the reason to celebrate, “Don’t be alarmed,” he (the angel) said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
Yes! Jesus isn’t dead! He has risen! He’s alive! We don’t have to put on a somber face during the Lent. No need for self-flagellation. No one can top what Jesus did in Calvary. All we need to do is embrace His gift of salvation and His undying love for us.
This Lent, is a good reminder for you and me, that Jesus rewrote mankind’s history by dying on the cross, rising from the dead and giving all of us an opportunity to have a fresh and new start.