All set for staging “Siete Palabras”

May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - April 15, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu archdiocese-aided centralized viewing of the Siete Palabras 2019, or the reflections on the seven last words of Jesus on Good Friday, is expected to focus on the theme of the Year of the Youth.

This year’s theme is “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered.”

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has urged Catholics to hear the reflections of the speakers that include young ministers bringing inspiration and motivation to the younger generation.

“Give time to listen to the Siete Palbaras. We will learn lessons that we can make use of as we live in the community,” he told reporters on the sidelines after celebrating the 8 a.m. Palm Sunday Mass.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, which is the last week of Lent before the Easter season.

Several activities are slated for the weeklong solemn observance such as the staging of the Siete Palabras every Good Friday, which falls on the 19th of this month.

The Cebu archdiocese has organized its own Siete Palabras yearly that is held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral where parishioners can attend.  The annual activity is aired live by different radio stations and television so that the faithful across Cebu can participate.

The Siete Palabras normally starts from 12 noon to 3 p.m.  According to Bible accounts, starting at 12 noon darkness covered Mt. Calvary, where Jesus’ cross stood, until he died at 3 p.m.

The Siete Palabras refers to the seven last words of Jesus before He died on the cross. Each speaker, some of them are involved in youth ministries, is expected to share their own reflections of the words of Jesus basing from the theme of the Year of the Youth.

Palma emphasized that it is important for people to hear the sentiments or experiences of young people, echoing the statement from Pope Francis that the “youth also wants to be heard.”

“Naa’y usahay we (adults) presume we know better.  But if we listen to the youth, we might get insights which otherwise would have not been part of our experience kon mag presume lang kita nga we know better and we don’t consult the young people,” he said.

He said young individuals also have their great aspirations in life and not only of material things but also of their desire to have a deeper understanding of the meaning of life and relationships.

Palma said people can look forward to the reflections of the young and experienced speakers who are serving the church, working actively in youth-related activities, or promoting the rights of young individuals.

At the Cathedral this Good Friday, Palma is expected to give the closing message while his secretary, Fr. Andrei Ventanilla, vice chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Youth (COY), will deliver the introduction.

Fr. Joriz Foz Calsa, SDB, head of the COY-Ministry of the Salesians in Don Bosco - Visayas and Mindanao, will share his reflections on the first words of Jesus, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Fr. Joselito Gutierrez, team member of St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish in Barangay Mabolo and a product of youth ministry, will reflect on the second saying, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Lawyer Maria Liza Jorda, former Cebu City prosecutor, will be giving her reflections on the third saying, “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”

Frankel Gerard Margallo, Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Youth coordinator, will offer his experiences being a youth leader reflecting on Jesus’ fourth saying, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Margallo and Fathers Ventanilla and Gutierrez are currently among the main organizers of the National Youth Day 2019, which is hosted this year by the Cebu archdiocese happening after the Holy Week.

Alan Andrei Badayos, chief marketing officer and board member of SkyLabs Technologies, will address his reflections on the fifth words of Jesus, “I thirst.”

Practicing lawyer Eugene Orbita of the Brotherhood Christian Businessman and Professionals is expected to share his experiences and reflections on the sixth saying, “It is finished.”

And lastly on the seventh saying, James Michael and Pedy Arela who are Couples for Christ members will reflect on Jesus’ saying, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” (FREEMAN)

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