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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Week’


For the past several years, we spent Holy Thursday in several churches for our annual  Visita Iglesia. It is always a joy to discover new sites and churches to visit. One of my favorite destinations is the eastern loop comprising Rizal towns and some towns in Laguna.

Rizal is  a picturesque province with so many other nice views, scenery and tourist attractions to visit. Laguna has preserved its old churches which go as far back as  1800. The plains of Mabitac town are so green you would think it is not summer in the area.

Discovering new places, spending time in prayers, what a joy! The vivid green of the countryside is an attraction in itself. I’d like to go back here and visit these places again.

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A  friend forwarded this a few minutes ago, it’s too good not to share.  They are reflections  of an old man who donated blood one Good Friday.

I gave blood, Christ gave His long ago; I gave a pint, He gave it all. My needle was short and sharp, His nails were large and dull. My cot was soft and restful, His cross was rough and hard. My med techs were kind and gentle, the soldiers were cruel and mean. The crowd applauded my sacrifice, those who passed by reviled Him. Mine was type A positive, His was positive for all. Mine, at best, will prolong life for a while, His without doubt will save us for all eternity.

A blessed Good Friday to all!

 

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Just came from The Last Supper Mass celebrated at St. Jude Parish a few hours ago. Josef and I were supposed to do our traditional Visita Iglesia this morning but we ended up staying home because of the disaster with our garden pond. He was cleaning the car and I was busy preparing breakfast when he shouted  “patay na sila.” I didn’t know what he was talking about and I thought there was an accident somewhere. He was in real panic, abandoned  what he was doing and ran to our small pond. It’s good he saw the water that flooded our carabao grass. The hose connected to the pump was dislodged and pointed itself to the garden. Gosh, all our fourteen Koi fish were somewhat  in distress because there was no water left in the pond except the small amount in the  catch basin located where the  pump used to be. They were all grouped together with their mouths open gasping for breath.  And I was praying “Please let them  live Lord” while we were both  busy with the hose and using  a small pail to put water back so they could swim again. It took him a while to transfer the Koi, clean the pond and have it refilled with water. By the time we were through, the whole morning is gone. Thank God, they are now happily swimming again.

Thinking about it, I just can’t help but reflect on how life sometimes seems so out of focus, that we are dependent on other people to get on with it.  What happened was full of “what ifs” in my mind? What if my son didn’t see the water that drenched our garden? Then we wouldn’t even notice that the Koi need immediate attention.  What if we have already left the house when it happened? What if they died?  We have  them for so long now that they are a part of our daily lives and it would really pains me to see them die.

I had the opportunity to watch Archbishop Tagle in Via Lucis (Way of the Light) . They had the pilgrimage at the Holy Land and I was so inspired by the sharing and the Bible reflections  and the places they went to. It was like I was also there personally with them sharing the weight of the cross on their shoulders.  I was also able to watch A Road  Less Traveled which was produced by Fr. Jerry Orbos. We may not always find ourselves in paved highways, the road may be rough and the terrain rugged but it is the road less traveled that offers a beautiful vista of what life is all about. We become stronger in faith while walking with Jesus in unknown paths that lead to our salvation and happiness. Problems are really no bigger than our lives. We learn to let go and to move  on despite the pain. Life’s meaning comes in small doses, it’s not given to us on a silver platter.

It’s a blessed Maundy Thursday after all!

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Feel the words and sing it silently, the meaning seems more magnified that way.  May your celebration of the Holy Week be truly meaningful and truly blessed!

Verse 1)
♫♪All that I am, all that I have
I lay them down before you, oh Lord
All my regrets, all my acclaims
The joy and the pain, I’m making them yours

(Chorus)
Lord, I offer my life to you
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for your glory
Lord I offer my days to you
Lifting my praise to you
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer you my life

(Verse 2)
Things in the past, things yet unseen
Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true
All of my heart, all of my praise
My heart and my hands are lifted to you

(Chorus)
Lord, I offer my life to you
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for your glory
Lord I offer my days to you
Lifting my praise to you
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer you my life

(Bridge)
What can we give
That you have not given?
And what do we have
That is not already yours?
All we possess
Are these lives we’re living
That’s what we give to you, Lord

(Chorus)
Lord, I offer my life to you
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for your glory
Lord I offer my days to you
Lifting my praise to you
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer you my life

(Chorus)
Lord, I offer my life to you
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for your glory
Lord I offer my days to you
Lifting my praise to you
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer you my life
Lord I offer you my life♪♫

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So it’s officially summer now in our part of the world. The stifling heat is too much. Gone are the cool mornings when the night is a little longer, plenty of time to stay in bed without feeling guilty. You could tell and the sun shows its face early everyday. 7am is a little hot on one’s back to garden, I have to wake up an hour earlier  than usual to do the daily chores of watering the plants, feeding the Koi, sweeping the yard, and when I am a little inspired, I do some gardening in the morning.Enough said since that is my daily routine.

School break, two months vacation for students, beaches, summer outing, swimming, enrolling in some useful craft like cooking, baking, arts and crafts  etc. etc. Actually, the possibilities are endless, and with the Philippines having at least 7,100 islands, take your pick, that is, if you have enough money to go on vacation or to visit local  tourist attractions. You can hie off to nearest Tagaytay to savor the morning breeze, go to Batangas for a swim, explore some untrodden paths in the countryside.

What is so good about summer is the abundance of fruits that normally you wouldn’t see at any other month. These are what I truly enjoy eating during summer.

They were the most crunchy and the sweetest watermelons I’ve ever tasted.

Green mangoes paired with bagoong alamang, what more could you ask for?

Take your pick, they sell all kinds of bananas at the wet market.

And the good old reliable buko which you can enjoy all year round. I just had two glasses of  cold buko juice this afternoon …yummy!

Star apple, anyone?

Sineguelas, another favorite. I wonder why they call it Spanish plum.

Guavas, another favorite. We have a tree in our backyard, just good enough to enjoy the fruits during summer.

The downside of summer though is this, when it is really so hot to go outside and you don’t have anything planned  for the day, you are tempted to play a couch potato just to avoid the summer heat. But something to look forward to are the traditions of Holy Week, the family rituals of visiting old churches and discovering new places.

Have fun…it’s summer!

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