Holy Week 2020
PERSPECTIVE (The Freeman) - April 9, 2020 - 12:00am

For sure, many will miss their scheduled trips for this week. Many may have already earlier planned a trip back to their hometowns for happy reunions with family and friends. Many may already have bought tickets for trips abroad as well. With the virus, however, all trips will have to be cancelled or postponed.

For the first time, locally, globally, mobility and travel are restricted. Everyone is asked, instead, to stay home. The farthest distance those who are allowed to travel may be to their work area, to the grocery or pharmacy. The less people venture out, the safer they are, the safer all else will be. Physical distancing is required to flatten the curve but social concern (staying home) will save so many other lives, Including one’s own.

Those used to going to church for the Holy Week will certainly miss this long standing tradition. Of course, one can quietly pray by oneself, in any private place.

However, there are the sermons, the sacraments, the group singing, the solidarity with other worshippers that will be missed. Holy Week will not be the same without the procession, the communal prayers, physically being in front of the altar and the Blessed Sacrament.

The Visita Iglesia will have to go as well. The Stations of the Cross with one’s family or community may take on a newer version this year. Already, there are priests who have decided to bring the Church to the communities, blessing the palms with people lined up in the streets or bringing the well-loved and revered Cross and statues to where the people are (with proper observance of physical distancing).

This year’s Holy Week directs many of us to take an introspective trip instead. We are guided to take an inner trip within our heart and contemplate, reflect on how we are coping with the present pandemic.

Have we allowed fear to take over or have we instead taken the higher road of faith and trust? Have we spent time to know God more during this imposed isolation and have we drawn closer to Him? Are we spending time to do profound soul-searching?

With the virus striking anyone, anywhere, without warning, many have lost their lives and many have lost their loved ones too. This Holy Week, many recognize and fear the reality of sickness and death. Millions are now crying out in the midst of this pandemic, “ My God, my God, why has thou abandoned us?”.

Pope Francis’ timely Palm Sunday homily strikes at the core of this real fear in the hearts of many with this reminder- Jesus also similarly cried from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The Holy Father emphasized “that these words tell us that Jesus also brought the experience of extreme desolation to his prayer. Why?”

“Once again, it was done for our sake, to serve us. that when we have our back to the wall, when we find ourselves at a dead end, with no light and no way of escape, when it seems that God himself is not responding, we should remember that we are not alone. The Father remained for Jesus.”

“For God so loved the world, He gave up he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying yes to love, without ifs and buts. As Jesus did for us.”

Because of His love for God and for us, Jesus said yes to His Passion and Cross that we may all live together forever.

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