October 2, 2023

“But I tell if you do not repent, you will perish as they did.” (Luke 13:3)
Pondering on the five Rs will help us in our spiritual health as we observe our Lenten disciplines. The words are closely linked – rend, repent, repair, reparation, and return.
Prophet Joel is constantly reminding us to rend our hearts and not our garments. God is more interested in our conversion than our physical change. Conversion involves repentance. It is not enough to apologize or to feel sorry for our wrong. We don’t regret our mistakes and we end there. We need to repair what we have broken; we need to bring back something broken to its good condition. Reparation is an act of making amends or correcting a wrong deed. If it is possible, make things better.
The Lenten season helps us to see a higher reality. The transfiguration of Jesus heralded his resurrection. Our return is not literally to dust but to his Father in heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son and whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” (John 3:16) We rend our hearts. We repent. We repair. We undergo reparation. We return to the Lord.

Faithfulness is a virtue to celebrate. On March 21, Antero and Luisa Palsiw celebrated their faithfulness as a couple.
Luisa arranged the mass a month ago. I immediately granted the request due to the joy I felt for them. She frequented the rectory to make sure the event will be realized. She always comes with a bag of bread for a cup of coffee at the rectory.
We celebrated the mass solemnly and yet lively because of the big family who attended. The Broken Guitar Project (BGP) Music Ministry offered their voices too to make the liturgy more meaningful.
Due to parental arrangement, Luisa and Antero lived together when they were 15 and 17 years old. The engagement did not work well at first. It underwent a lot of challenges until their first baby was born. They waited until they reached legal age before getting married. The most touching part of their married life is their faithfulness to God and to one another.
During the short program where I served as the wedding singer, the couple danced sweetly.
During her testimonial, Luisa challenged her children to emulate their faithfulness and hard work. “I am thankful to the Lord for the gift of Christian married life. We overcame all the tests and trials of life because we worked together. We quarreled a lot because of your father’s vices. He used to gamble and drink a lot. But we always found time to settle it. There were times when he would not come home. We sacrificed for our 12 children. We are happy that they are all here with us to celebrate the learnings and the difficult life that we overcame as a family.”
Antero gave a short yet meaningful message after the mass. “I am grateful to the Lord that we are able to overcome the pandemic and now we are here with my wife to celebrate and thank the Lord for more than 50 years of being happily and faithfully married. Thank you to my wife, children, to Padi Marcs and to all of you for your presence. See you again next year.”

The Sagada BGP would like to thank Charlotte Bersamin-Torquiano of the Charite’ Pro-ject-Baguio for donating an electronic drum. It is a big help to the youth. It is instrumental in their activities to improve their mental health. Reach me at [email protected].