Siete Palabras focuses on ‘millennials’

May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - April 21, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The reflections of the Cebu archdiocese-led Siete Palabras 2019 on Good Friday had explained the problems and issues confronting the new generation.

While many criticize the “millennials,” the speakers who gave their reflections of the Seven Last Words of Jesus had enlightened the listeners of how the young has come to behave in a different way and how adults play a vital role in shaping them.

During the presentation of Siete Palabras at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Fr. Joriz Foz Calsa, SDB - the first speaker - emphasized that the problems arising among the youth are actually products of the actions and decisions of the adults.

"The youth are victims of the culture we (adults) have created," he said.

Calsa is the head of the Commission on Youth's Ministry of the Salesians in Don Bosco in Visayas and Mindanao.

Like Calsa, speakers are involved in youth ministries and some are youth leaders and young professionals themselves. Speakers shared on their individuals experiences relating it to this year's pastoral thrust of the Philippine Catholic Church - the Year of the Youth.

In his reflection, Fr. Calsa said he often hear from the laity and the clergy that they are having a hard time understanding younger individuals.

He said this may be true owing to the different culture and varying upbringing they are living to wherein they grow in a society bombarded with controversies, advanced technology, violence, abuses, and among other societal challenges.

He said the young people should not be blamed of their different attitude and personality, and for their wrong and confused decisions having no guidance from their parents or guardians.

In reflecting to Jesus' first words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," Fr. Calsa also asked forgiveness from God for many adults have failed to recognize the potentials and understand the pressures these young are faced with.

Fr. Joselito Gutierrez - the second speaker - said many young individuals nowadays are lost because they are less cared for, while some parents are not even good examples to their children.

Gutierrez, a product of youth ministry and now one of the priests serving St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish in Barangay Mabolo, said by supporting and assisting young individuals, he always educates them with their primary responsibilities.

As he reflected on the second saying, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise," Fr. Gutierrez challenged young individuals to be like the repentant criminal (sinner) crucified with Jesus.

In guiding the young, child rights' advocate and lawyer Maria Liza Jorda, former Cebu City prosecutor, said a mother like her plays an important role in raising and protecting her children.

The third and lone female speaker said nothing compares a maternal love as one shares the same suffering and pain of her child; a child's cross is also a mother's cross. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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