CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma has urged the faithful to confess their sins during Holy Week.
The prelate said Christians should not think of Lent as an opportunity to go on a vacation, adding that this is a period for prayers, reflections and opening of hearts to celebrate God’s love.
During his Palm Sunday mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Sunday, April 14, Palma said Jesus Christ’s crucifixion saved mankind from sins and the faithful should repent for their sins.
He urged wayward Christians to return to their faith to God.
“The life of Christ brings in a new hope. The death and resurrection of Christ bring a renewed energy and a promise that He would be with us for all time. And if we are with Him, we will be with Him in His resurrection despite of all that had happened. We know that His love, His blessings will be with us until the victory of His resurrection,” he said in Cebuano.
Palma encouraged the faithful to participate in church activities on Holy Thursday (April 18), Good Friday (April 19) and Easter Sunday (April 21).
Meanwhile, Palma said issues on the youth will be explored during the Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words) on Good Friday.
“Year of the Youth”
Priests, a youth coordinator, a prosecutor, a lawyer and the lay faithful will participate in the religious activity that relate the dying pronouncements of the crucified Jesus Christ to present-day social problems.
The Siete Palabras will be held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City at noon.
Palma hopes the speakers will inspire the youth, saying 2019 was declared “The Year of the Youth” by the Synod of Bishops last year.
“Give time for the Siete Palabras and I know that we all will learn lessons because we live in a community,” he said.
Fr. Andrei Ventanilla, Palma’s secretary and Commission on Youth (COY) vice chairman, will be the introductory speaker.
Fr. Joriz Foz Calsa, head of COY Ministry of the Salesians in Visayas and Mindanao, will tackle the first words---“Amahan, pasayloa sila kay wala sila masayod sa ilang gibuhat (Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing).”
Fr. Joselito Gutierrez, overall festival chairman of the National Youth Day and member of team pastors of St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, will reflect on Jesus Christ’s statement: “Sultihan ko ikaw, karong adlawa adto ka sa paraiso uban Kanako (I will tell you right now that you are with Me in the paradise).”
Tacloban City Prosecutor Maria Liza Jorda will discuss the third statement: “Babaye, ania ang imong anak; anak, ania ang imong inahan (Woman, here is your child; child, here is your mother).”
Youth coordinator Frankel Gerard Margallo, who is also active in COY, will tackle the fourth statement: “Diyos ko, Diyos ko, nganong gibiyaan mo ako (My God, my God, why have You forsaken me)?”
National Youth Day
For his part, Allan Andrei Badayos, chief marketing officer and board member of SkyLabs Technologies, will discuss the fifth statement: “Giuhaw ako (I am thirsty).”
Lawyer Eugene Orbita, document examiner and member of Brotherhood Christian Businessmen and Professionals, will tackle the sixth statement: “Natapos na (It all ends).”
The seventh last words, “Amahan, sa Imong mga kamot itugyan ko ang akong espiritu (Father, in Your hands I offer my spirit),” will be discussed by James Michael Arela and Pedy Arela. Both are members of the Couples for Christ.
Palma will wrap up the Siete Palabras, which carries the theme “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered.”
This year’s National Youth Day will be held in Cebu from April 23-27. The Archdiocese of Cebu expects 17,000 participants from across the country.
According to Palma, Pope Francis said the youth want their voices to be heard.
“Sometimes, we presume we know better, but if we just reflect, if we listen to the young, then we may get insights,” he said. (FROM SCG OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / KAL)