EDITORIAL - The essence of Holy Week

EDITORIAL - The essence of Holy Week

(The Freeman) - April 6, 2020 - 12:00am

As per tradition, people usually flock to the churches for the first day of Holy Week.

But yesterday, the Mass celebrated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma was just streamed live from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Aside from the acolytes, there were only a handful of people present. A few hardy souls that braved the enhanced community quarantine to hear the word of the Lord.

Now the archdiocese is discouraging people from attending masses and other services, even for the most important days of this particular week; Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday, because of COVID-19.

Understandably, this has many people upset. One reason behind this could be because many people take these occasions to confess their sins, make amends, repent, and start over. Now they cannot avail of the sacrament of Confession.

And considering what is happening now, it’s likely that people will blame their sins and the sins of others for what the world is suffering now.

Another reason why some people are upset is because they usually ignore their religious obligations for the rest of the year and only come to church for Mass and other services in this one week. The week when they feel closest to God.

During this week and in this time, it’s not hard to imagine what people will pray for. Forgiveness, their continued health, the protection of their loved ones from COVID-19, a better future after this crisis, the list is long.

However, we should remember that this week isn’t for us to connect with God to ask for what we want from him, it’s about paying our dues. The real essence of Holy Week is remembering, appreciating, and acknowledging the sacrifice Christ made to redeem man.

Holy Week has always been about God, and not about us. We shouldn’t forget this fact even in these troubled times when none of us are safe and the only assurance we can count on is the divine kind.

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