Hopes and Joys of Easter

Hopes and Joys of Easter

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

— Saint Augustine

THOUGH the Philippines is more than 90 percent Christian and about 80 million Catholics live across the archipelago, it’s saddening that the Lenten season comes and goes unnoticed by most of us.

We consider our country predominantly Catholic and this becomes more visible as the season culminates with the commemoration of Holy Week—from Palm Sunday through Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday when huge crowds of the faithful flock to churches.

But have we actually delved into more profound reflection on the significance of the Lenten season on our day-to-day lives in order to gain its profound meaning and provide us a better appreciation of being Christian.

At the end of March, the Philippines concluded the commemoration of Women’s Month, an annual observance intended to recognize the contribution of women in our society. In this, it is only proper that we examine the situation of Filipino women and see if it is consistent with the recognition and praise they deserve.

And looking at the day-to-day lives of female family members of victims of enforced disappearances, who receive the catastrophic impact of this cruelest form of human rights violations, we see the parallelism of their lives with that of Christ’s mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary—the Mother of Sorrows, who had to witness her son’s persecution, crucifixion, and death.

Wives of the disappeared, some of whom witnessed the abductions of their husbands, live with the constant trauma of utter helplessness after failing to save them from the perpetrators. Their daughters grow up with no fathers. Some of them, especially those who do not understand the context of their fathers’ enforced disappearance, feel abandoned.

Mothers of the disappeared, whose children were plucked from the bosom of their families, survive with an indelible scar brought about by pain of loss and of uncertainty.

On important occasions, daughters of the disappeared normally feel envious of their friends who enjoy the company of both their parents. Mothers of the disappeared, whose children were plucked from the bosom of their families, survive with an indelible scar brought about by pain of loss and of uncertainty.

So we ask, where are they?

This is a nagging question that remains unanswered for as long as the fate and whereabouts of the victims are unknown.

The sad reality is that the search for the truth by women whose loved ones were taken from them by supposed protectors of the law is almost always endless. Very few found their loved ones—alive or dead. So elusive is a closure that victims’ families continue to wait without knowing for how long and will there be an end to their search for the truth.

On the first Good Friday, Jesus was condemned, persecuted, made to carry the Cross, ridiculed, whipped, fell three times, met his mother, helped by Simon to carry the cross, wiped by Veronica, stripped of his garments, and finally, nailed to the cross till he breathed his last—asking His Father: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus’ ordeal was a glaring demonstration of abuse of authority and power and of the callousness of those who participated in his crucifixion.

And many Filipino children have been orphaned due to the brutal deaths of their fathers. Wives have lost their husbands and mothers, and children on the mere suspicion of them being drug users, dealers, and pushers.

There should be no room for the same extrajudicial execution that Christ painfully underwent in a country like ours which claims to have commemorated its 501st anniversary of Christianity.

Yet, not unknown to many, the present administration has callously killed thousands of Filipinos who, in the name of drugs, were condemned to death without due process.

Now in the sixth and last year of the Rodrigo Duterte administration, this war on drugs, the flagship campaign that catapulted him to power in 2016 under the slogan “Change is Coming,” continues to make changes, for the worse, to the lives of the poor, who will unlikely see the truth or an ounce of justice. (ai/mtvn)
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FOR your comments or suggestions, complaints or requests, just send a message through my email filespolice@yahoo.com.ph or text me at cellphone numbers 09054292382 for Globe subscribers and 09391252568 for Smart. Thank you and Mabuhay!

Editor’s note: The content and gist of this opinion article are the author’s sole responsibility. It does not necessarily reflect MTVN’s official stand.

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