July 13, 2024

We continue to ponder about Lent and we add three more “Rs.”
Now we have eight Rs for Laetare Sunday, which are rend, repent, repair, reparation, return, reconciliation, righteousness, and rejoice.
On Laetare Sunday, the children of Tanulong, Sagada, Mountain Province have inspired the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
Children usually misbehave. They can be noisy inside the church but we can always teach them to behave. If there is one thing I loved in the San Lorenzo BEC, it’s the presence of children and the youth.
In 2018, I vividly recall how children will distract the celebration of the mass. They run carefree and they make a lot of noise inside and outside the church. After four years, parents learned to train their children to behave and the youth to participate in the liturgy.
Indeed, children will rejoice when they feel that somebody cares for them to grow and mature with values and virtues.
Pope Francis mentioned the meaning of children in the church. “Without children in the church, and without their cry being heard, it simply signals a dying church.”
If we cannot hear the laughter of children inside the church, we are anticipating the closure of the church.
The joy of the children is pure and we are encouraged to be childlike in order to have the real joy of faith.
Prophet Joel says, “Rend your heart and not your garments.”
“Repent and believe in the gospel.”
It is not enough to regret and be sorry, we need to repair to mean we must bring back to good condition what was broken or destroyed.
It is even better to do lots of reparation to mean making amends to rectify our mistake. Guilt should be channeled healthily to improve.
We should not return to our bad life but return to the Lord.
God reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Christ did not count their trespasses entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
“Be righteous.” The root word is right. Being right simply means living in Christ and doing things for Christ. Righteousness that sees oneself as the standard of morality is self-righteousness, or, simply hypocrisy. We don’t strive for holiness just to despise the less privileged. We don’t earn degrees to discredit God in our successes. We don’t work hard to earn and become rich to remove God in our life.
We must celebrate and rejoice. We rejoice for God is a god of mercy and compassion. He sees a repentant heart and He rejoices. We rejoice when our sisters and brothers go back to their senses and return to the Lord.
It was my prayer for our brothers who got lost in the mountains to return to the folds of real peace. Rebellion disturbs peace and will never be a solution. Insurgency has caused a lot of human disasters.
Activism is encouraged but it should be healthy activism. Activism that removes God in the advocacy and fight is a false battle because it is self-serving. Activism that employs violence and wrong information, and illegal recruitment is an activism for personal interest and is a mortal sin.
Let the Lenten season continue to touch our hearts to rend, repent, repair/reparation, return, righteousness and reconcile in order to rejoice. Laetare!
Holy Week is just a week from now. Let us prepare to enter the most solemn week of the year.

Constant prayers for Ukraine and Russia, Betwagan (Mountain Province) and Bugnay (Kalinga), and all conflicting families and candidates.
Constant healing prayers for Caroline and Helen Castañeda, Karen Lumiwes, Karen Chinalpan, Katleen Oya-oy, Rose Changlapen, Bellia Badecao, Shane Tactay, and all those suffering from the pandemic and from anxiety and depression.
Reach me at [email protected], or Facebook account: Pachie’s Point.