Reflections for the Holy Week

As the holy week approaches, the holy mass must not be used as a venue for priests/bishops to air their political grievances. The church must continue to protect the sanctity of human life.

Holy Week is a solemn occasion for the pre-dominantly Catholic population of the Philippines. More than 86% of the Philippine population belongs to the Roman Catholic religion. It is during this week that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated in a special way.

Holy Week affords many students and professionals an opportunity to rest and recover from the daily grind. Families typically take advantage of the Holy Week to go on a beach or spiritual vacation.

During Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, many commercial establishments are closed. During these days, regular television shows also temporarily do not air to give way to special Lenten programs.

These practices are typically followed by Filipinos during the Holy Week. To me, however, these are sacrifices only at the surface. There's a deeper meaning the Lenten Season wants to convey to a pre-dominant Catholic nation such as the Philippines.

The Perception of people on the church

Many have observed a steady decline in the number of mass goers. This is not because they don't believe in God any longer. Rather, it is mainly due to the continuous meddling of Catholic leaders in political affairs. Partly, this can also be attributed to the shots fired by the President against some bishops and priests.

While it is the responsibility of the church to safeguard the moral standards of its flock, I am of the belief that church leaders must not direct their attacks against the person of the President. Instead, the objective must be to appeal to the President's conscience instead of engaging in a blame game.

The holy mass must not be used as a venue for priests/bishops to air their political grievances. The church must continue to protect the sanctity of human life. However, it must not take up the cudgels of administering justice in a country of laws. There are institutions dedicated to render judgment on perceived violations of human rights.

The effects of digital technology on Catholics' interaction with their faith

Social media can be a good or bad thing. One of its perceived negatives is that it lessens our actual interaction with people and even to our inner selves. Some even feel that quality of life is lesser without technology. In our pre-occupation with gadgets, we often fail to recognize the interactions we must have with ourselves.

While technology aids in our everyday lives, our daily activities should not be concentrated squarely on social media accounts or games. Our interaction with ourselves, most importantly our belief and faith, will help us get through the most difficult obstacles in life. Technology only provides temporary relief. Our interaction with our God will ease us of all our pains, fears and anxieties. Our relationship with God is our greatest asset in life.

At the end of the day, it should be our commitment to reduce unnecessary addictions and distractions in life so that we can re-connect with ourselves and our faith. In the midst of all technological advancements, political circumstances and personal challenges confronting us, our faith should remain intact and our relationship with God should become stronger.

“Look not on the sins but on the faith of your Church.”

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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