Monday, April 17, 2006

Good Friday in Cubao

Last Friday Amats and I spent a Lenten retreat at Araneta Colesium. Our parish Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish (IHMP aka Claret church) announced that there will be an open lenten recollection. The past week there were many activities we could have attended and participated in but given my very pregnant state, we had to choose only one.

I prepared myself as in braced myself internally to expect a melancholy mood that friday morning. I expected that the topic will center on the seven last words. I guess I expected myself to be immersed with a "mourning" kind of mood.

The streets of Cubao was almost bare. No activity. Shops closed. Few cars and jeeps. But when we entered Araneta, with our patron ticket seats, we were amazed at the number of people most of them from the parishes around QC.

We arrived at the Araneta with the last scene of the play depicting the mission of San Lorenzo Ruiz. Then after this was an energetic praise song that brought me back to World Youth Day of 1995. There was an upbeat mood that I did not expect. Then the speaker for the day Bishop Bacani started his talk. The talk centered on God's love.

The audience was the masses and he was able to sustain the energy in his talk in this huge venue with stories that people can directly relate to. I believe that that was the beauty of how the message cut through these people young and old alike.

He shared a particular fictional story about his pet pig. He learned that his beloved pet is dying and he prayed to God to please save them. Then God answered him, I will save the pig with one condition, you have to be a pig yourself and when the fiesta of parish of immaculate--- and he stopped the story there. He decided ok let the pigs die then.

On a very light note, Bishop Bacani asked "how far is the distance of being God and becoming human?" and because God the Father loves us so that He gave His only son to save us from our sins. I guess many resistant hearts were touched one way or the other once again with a simple story yet the power of the message of love is palpable and real.

It was an enriching experience to be with people not just your age, beside me was an old woman who looked like my lola and I was reminded of the time that my own lola Abeng brought me to Alaminos church. Around me were children of all ages listening as well. I was energized that day. I went home not in a "mood" but I went home with a heart filled with His love.

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