December 5, 2022

There were two groups that presided over the death and passion of Jesus Christ during the first ever Holy Week.
The first group belonged to those who were asked by Pontius Pilate what to do with the Messiah after His trial. They shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Due to this clamor, Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross. This group had its moment of glory when they got what they wanted. They were the happy group.
The second group were the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ who wilted and scampered to safety after being threatened to be made as accomplices to the blasphemies to which their leader was tried and suffered the penalty. Though they did not lose their conviction in Jesus Christ, they were afraid that they might end up with the same fate. This group was the loser during those times of trial and suffering. They were mocked and laughed at, branded as cowards for taking the cause of Jesus Christ. They were the worried group.
However, after three days, there was a reversal of fortunes. The second group was vindicated by the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead. They were able to overcome their fears and lived a life that was simple yet saved, fearful but brave, poor yet satisfied, uncertain but confident. On the other hand, the first group had their day of reckoning. They became outcasts for their own doing. They were materially gifted yet; they were spiritually hungry. They yearned for more but got nothing.
The scenario that prevailed during the first Holy Week still persists today. For, during the celebration of the Holy Week, there remains to be two groups. The first one are those who forget the essence of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. There are those who go out on pleasure, splurging their wealth without regard to their fellowmen who are suffering.
They are those who trek to expensive beaches, villas, and manors unmindful that the Holy Week was made a vacation time for the purpose of reflecting on our spiritual needs.
In a way, because of their indifference, they are subconsciously conspiring with those who cried without pity to crucify Jesus Christ who admonished that “whatsoever you do to the least of my brother, that you do it unto me.”
The second group are those who are aware of their Christian obligations to do fasting and penance during the Holy Week. They are those who pray, give a little of their time and money to the needy. They are those who trek to churches and other places of worship, confessing their guilt to Jesus Christ and praying to high heavens that their sins be forgiven.
The first group seeks a renewal of body and mind whereas the second group pleads for a renewal of their faith and redemption of their spirit. Those who comprise the first group will have temporary liberty and relief, much like those who shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
They will be rested but only for three days. After that, they get back to their uncertain self, devoting their time and energy for the pursuit of wealth. Those who comprise the second group will surely miss on the fun.
However, after three days, they will be renewed and reinvigorated. They saved their soul. They shall be vindicated and redeemed like the disciples who witnessed a rebirth because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The essence of Holy Week is to commemorate not only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is more so a period of reflection, penance, atonement and reconciliation with God.
To what group do you belong? The first or the second? The choice is always yours to make.

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