Showing posts from February, 2010

the priest is the sacrifice

I would like to share with you my reflection this evening in connection with the year for priests and the feast of the presentation of Christ in the temple using this vespers’ reading from the letter to the Hebrews.
The letter to the Hebrews speaks of two priesthood, the Old Testament priesthood headed by the high priest, and the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Though both are called priests they are not one and the same. The Old Testament priesthood is different from the priesthood of Jesus Christ or should I say the priesthood of Jesus is different from the priesthood of the order of Levites. This distinction is very important if we are to appraise our own priesthood, and the priesthood these young men are so eagerly desiring to become one day. This distinction between the two lie not on its object of reconciling men and women to God but in the differences of method in which this reconciliation is to take place.

When men or women deviate from the ways of God they commit sin. Sin …

beginning lent

On Wednesday February 17 we are going to start the Season of Lent. The Season of Lent is the first part of that long liturgical cycle we call the Easter Cycle. It is composed of the Season of Lent (40 days), the Paschal Triduum (3 days) and the Season of Easter (50 days). As you can see the Paschal Triduum is central to this cycle. In fact it is such a great feast that it would take us 40 days to prepare (Lent), 3 days to commemorate (Paschal Triduum) and 50 days to celebrate (Easter). It is important that we don’t take the seasons singly less we separate each of these from their context which is the Paschal Triduum, the 3 day commemoration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

fiesta 2010

While making my usual rounds of the Cathedral compound I saw a young man in red overalls sweeping and mopping the shrine. Not recognizing him as one of our workers, I approached him and asked who he was. And he told me his story.
When he was in college, he narrated, he was brought by his benefactor to accompany him every now and then to clean the shrine. They would clean the shrine at night – throwing away withered flowers, scrubbing the floor free of melted candles, and sweeping and mopping the place clean. That was his weekly routine then.


These days (it started last January 20) the barangays are making a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Candles, the Mother of all Jareños. In the past it was our Mother who visited the barangays. Now we’re turning the table around – now it is the barangays who are visiting her in her home, the cathedral of Jaro.
What is so special about this visit?
It is special because it is not just any visit but a pilgrimage. What is a pilgrimage?
The English word pilgrimage comes from the Latin word peregrinatio (the same word is still used in Spanish and French). It is composed of two words: per which means through or across and ager/agri which means fields, country or land. A pilgrimage is a movement, a journey, a “passing through,” and since one is just “passing through” it connotes that that movement is something temporary or a state of being abroad.


Some people don’t get it. And yet the answer follows the same logic we use almost everyday. Some people may have asked you, why pay so much to have the images repainted? Why bring it to Pampanga when we could have them repainted here just as they did in the past (I have heard that these were repainted in the early 60’s by a group of people from the leprosarium.)? Well, as I have said, the same logic we use almost everyday applies. I can put make up on your face in no time. Anybody (and that includes your husband) can put an eyeliner, your lipstick, your eyebrows. Anybody can concoct a meal with the best ingredients you can possibly provide (I say concoct, I’m not saying edible!). But why go to a parlor and choose a reputable one at that? Why get a good cook? And why spend more money if there is a free alternative? It’s because you are looking for talent and are willing to pay for it. Yes I can dress you up if you are going to a Halloween party and cook you a meal if you w…