MARCH 2018


By Fr. Tirso Villaverde


..."Should we dwell on Jesus's crucifixion pain?"

...continued from Home Page

“Glass half full”

Pain and sorrow and difficulty are things that we will never be able to avoid. They are and will always be a part of the human condition. There is no way in which we will ever be able to evade them. Ignoring them will not erase the fact that they still happen. Dwelling only on the “glass half full” does not necessarily take away the necessity of having to go through those moments of pain, sorrow, and difficulty.

If Jesus had to go through that ordeal in order to reach the resurrection, as those who have chosen to take up our cross and follow after him, we will also need to pass through those moments of trials in order to reach the victory that ultimately is ours in Christ Jesus.

“Pie in the sky”

Choosing not to give any attention or focus on those sorrowful moments of Christ’s life seems to be more of a “pie in the sky” type of spirituality. Yes, we need hope and we need the hope that only the Resurrection can give. But, what about those moments when life gets us down and we only want to lose hope? Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus not only allows us to see the grace-filled moments of our lives but it also gives us the strength we need to remain faithful when life makes it extremely difficult to know that our lives are blessed.

Powerful ritual

In Catholic spirituality, this is the reason why there are the Joyful, Luminous, and Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary just as much as why there are the Sorrowful Mysteries. This is the reason why there is deep and powerful ritual that surrounds the celebrations of the night Jesus was betrayed and the day he was crucified just as much as there is powerful ritual that marks the joyful celebration of the new life of Jesus’ rising from the dead.

Focusing on one aspect more than the other will only lead to a very limited experience of life. In other words, ignoring the painful aspects of Jesus’ life might fool us into thinking that there is something wrong with us if we cannot handle pain and sorrow very well. At the same time, dwelling too much on the sorrowful aspects of Jesus’ life will fool us into thinking that there is no hope or light at the end of the tunnel.

Worse, it may even lead us into believing that we are beyond saving.
As we enter into the holiest week of the Christian faith at the end of this month, the call seems to be to unite our own sorrows to those that Jesus himself experienced. In that way, we will see even more clearly Jesus’ power to save us. He alone endured the cross so that we might live beyond it and live in the Resurrection. But, just as Jesus had first to go to the cross, we must also follow him there.


Lenten Services

The Philippine American College Clergy (PACC) announces that Good Friday Service will be held at The Philippine American Ecumenical Church (PAEC), 3533 N. Albany Ave. Chicago, IL 60618, on March 30 at 1:00 pm. The Easter Sunday service will be held at the Edison Park United Methodist Church, 6470 N. Oliphant Ave. Chicago, IL 6063, on April 1 at 6 am.


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