Christians celebrate Easter Sunday by treating their children to Easter egg hunt. “We commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, as written in the Christian bible.”
When we were young, we used to observe good Friday in Angeles, by watching flagellants flog themselves with a whip, attached to which are sharp pieces of glass.
In Filipino, it is called penitensiya, or penance, to share in the sufferings of Jesus, bringing attention and focus to God. I used to be mortified at the sight of blood oozing from the back of the flagellant, with faces covered by cloth. They pass the house and end up bathing in a river. According to witnesses, the wounds disappear like magic after bathing.
Then, there is the pabasa ng pasyon, one of the activities done by Filipino Catholics to commemorate Christ’s suffering and death.
Pabasa ng pasyon is the continuous chanting of the life, passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ commonly called pasyong mahal or “Mahal na Pasion ni Jesu Christong Panginoon Natin na Tola” written by Gaspar Aquino De Belen in 1704.
This practice is quite strange to young minds whose concept of Holy Week is a super grand vacation in the provinces. Nothing is really spiritual when you are young.
The concept of Holy Week changes as we mature. Maybe, it is still a grand vacation or a respite from work. For others, it is the time to do Visita Iglesia or the Stations of the Cross. Television stations used to have many stories and shows about the life of Jesus. A gentle reminder for us Catholics that Jesus died for us and that Jesus is still with us and is guiding us every day. He is the way, the truth and the life.
Because Jesus is within us, we must treat every person we encounter, good or bad with the thought that Jesus is also within them. We must treat everyone with respect and kindness no matter how hard it gets.
No matter how insignificant we are to them. We are thus likened to a small flower in the vastness of a flowerbed or a garden of flowers. We are insignificant to them and the universe, but significantly precious in the eyes of God.
I often wonder how God can see and feel us in our smallness. He who is so great can see and feel us. And when you think of the universe, we are not only insignificant, we are nothing. Hence, I go back to God and his omnipotence. And I delight that we are part of Him and that everything in the universe is beautiful because it comes from Him.
Happy Easter and congratulations to all the new lawyers.