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Jesus, I Adore You.

Fighting with Towel.
April 5, 2021
The Hidden Truth.
April 5, 2021
PITIK-BULAG: Jesus, I Adore You.
“Sorrow can lead us into one of four lands. The barren land in which we try to escape from it. The broken land in which we sink under it. The bitter land in which we resent it. Or the better land in which we bear it and become a blessing to others.” – Anonymous
 
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We do have our own experience of sorrow and suffering in our lives. And when they come, like this pandemic, our life turns upside down. We begin to doubt the love of God. But sorrow and suffering are part and parcel of our lives. They challenge our faith to its core. As we go through this pandemic, we can easily identify with Jesus as he cried out loud, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
 
When my Tatay Paco died many years ago, it was one of the most painful moments of my life. How could I forget that day when I seriously doubted God’s love? I remember that evening while I was looking at my father suffering in the hospital, I remember myself blaming God: “I gave up everything to serve you, why are not helping us? We need you now, where are you?” But God remained silent. I felt abandoned. Ignored. Alone. Darkness prevailed.
 
The pain of being abandoned crept into my heart. I grieved and blamed God. I was tempted to abandoned God. But to my surprise, in the middle of my agony, sorrow and doubt, I found myself silently singing the song “Holy Darkness.” After a while, a glimpse of consolation sweetly entered into my wounded spirit and miraculously eased the pain.
 
The following lines of the song struck me: “Holy darkness, blessed night, Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight. As we wait for the God of silence, we embrace this holy night.” Those lines hit my soul the deepest part of my heart. At that very moment, God was asking me to trust him when darkness comes. Indeed, our faith is tested when we face our own sorrows and pains. Truly, faith grows deeper in pain and suffering.
 
Today is Good Friday. As we commemorate the peak of the Lenten season, God is inviting us to lovingly look at Jesus whom we have pierced on the cross. It’s ironic and inconceivable that when we look at Jesus hanging on the cross, we gain strength and consolation. The cross becomes the symbol of love, commitment, and hope. It is not a sign of defeat and death. As we accompany Jesus in his passion and death, we are invited to follow his example by embracing our own cross. As his disciples, Jesus does not want us to run away, or be bitter people, or sink into depression or doubt his enduring love. As we continue our struggle in the midst of this pandemic, Jesus is inviting us to faithfully carry our cross. He wants us to be firm and courageous in the midst of darkness. He wants us to brave and faithful. Never waiver when things get rough.
 
We admire people who bravely carried their crosses. We admire the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who put their lives in danger to save hundreds of infected people. We have lost a good number of our heroes. They suffered a lot for us, just to save the world from annihilation. Yet, their unwavering courage and devotion in the midst of danger encourage us to leave our comfort zones and do our part.
 
A friend of mine died of cancer three years ago. But I admired how she willingly accepted her fate and surrendered her life to God. She suffered a lot but died in peace. Cancer did not stop her from loving God. She found the meaning of her suffering. We have our share of suffering but missed the meaning. We missed the opportunity to share in Jesus’ suffering. We dwelled too much in our bitterness and doubt, in the process, we lost our ability to transcend our pain and transform them into grace.
 
The death of Jesus is not a sign of scandal, shame, or defeat. It is the ultimate sign of Jesus’ total surrender to the Father’s will. It is the sign of God’s enduring love for us. Jesus persevered in his suffering out of his great love for us. He redeemed us by his suffering and dying on the cross.
 
Let’s not allow our frustrations to stop us from discovering the meaning and value of suffering. With great sorrow, look intently on the cross. Learn from Jesus how to embrace our cross. Jesus died on the cross because of our sins. He chose to love us and it merited him his crucifixion.
 
The meaning of our suffering rests in the crucified Jesus. Lovingly gaze on Him. The more we fix our eyes on HIM, the more we gain strength and understanding of pain, suffering, and sacrifice. And finally, the crucified Christ will disturb us from our comfort zones. He will challenge us to love others. We die to ourselves when we think of others, but we gain eternal life.
 
A Good Friday Prayer
 
Dear God,
give me the courage
to embrace my daily cross
and carry it with my whole heart.
I am your child, allow me to discover
the strength and power to overcome
all my fears, anxiety and challenges.
 
Allow me to accompany you
in your passion and death today.
I am your friend – I don’t want to be
a coward and a quitter anymore.
 
Starting today, let me draw strength
from your decision to die for me,
and like you, let me die for others.
Let me learn how to love you
with all my heart and soul.
Amen.
 
“There is no Christian holiness without devotion to the Passion” – John Paul II
 
– Pitik-Bulag
 
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April 2, 2021 – Good Friday
John 18:1 – 19:42

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