ROUGH CUTS| This Wednesday of the Holy Week

TODAY is Holy Wednesday and the fourth day of the Holy Week 2017.     Since we are in the second to the last day of the season of Lent we are temporarily filling our allotted space with something devotional; things or words relevant to the times instead of the mundane. Hence, we are sharing with our readers the first reading that will be heard in masses in all Catholic churches this very day. Taken from Isaiah 50:4-9a it says:

     The Lord Yahweh has taught me so I speak as his disciple and I know how to sustain the weary. Morning after morning he wakes me up to hear, to listen like a disciple.

     The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear.

     I have not rebelled, nor have I withdrawn. I offered my back to those who strike me, my cheeks to those who pulled my beard; neither did I shield my face from blows, spittle and disgrace. I have not despaired, for the Lord Yahweh comes to my help. So, like a flint I set my face, knowing that I will not be disgraced. He who avenges me is near. Who then will accuse me? Let us confront each other. Who is now my accuser? Let him approach. If the Lord Yahweh is my help, who will condemn me? All of them will wear out like cloth; the moth will devour them.

     Based on the above we find this piece in the 2017 Bible Diary, a publication by the Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc. worth sharing especially on this very day. Here it goes:

     Fragmentation maybe is a hard thing but not all fragmentation is the same. Just take a look at Judas Iscariot. He is deteriorating fast. From a friend to Jesus, he turned into a secret foe betraying his master to those who oppose him. The memories of those years when he sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His words did not deter him to act against his Master. His mind is blank, his heart empty. He sold for thirty pieces of silver his discipleship.

     Contrast this with what happened at the Last Supper. Jesus took a piece of bread, a symbol of himself, and broke it into pieces. He distributed each piece to his disciples present, that they may become one, until fragmented humanity may become one in Him. Thus, his self-giving and his consent to be broken “into pieces” healed the brokenness of the world. This means that not all fragmentation is bad. If the center is selfless love, then fragmentation becomes a positive force that could bind brokenness and division.


     We could not help but compare the ways in commemorating the Holy Week then and now. We remember when we were younger, as early as Palm Sunday radio stations play only soft tunes, or something that is appropriate to the holiness of the entire week. On Holy Wednesday regular radio programming gives way to Holy Week special presentations. Radio dramas are preempted with plays pertaining to the passion of Christ.

     On Good Friday what is heard over the radio is the reading and interpretation of Jesus’ “Seven Last Words” by selected power speakers.

     By 3:00 o’clock, or exactly the hour of Jesus’ death, the world fells silent.

     Today however, this has totally changed. Radio stations play hard rock music until Good Friday, and cable television programs remain unchanged. Local television networks though preempt some of their regular programs with Holy Week-related drama production with movies also related to the commemoration being shown. This is very much in contrast to the way Holy Week commemoration during our younger years.

     And we were able to witness how the faithful practiced reverence to every Holy Week activity, including traditions like not taking a bath on a Good Friday or sweeping one’s yard.

     In fact we could not forget our grandmother reminding us always to follow such Holy Week tradition so that we will continue to be secured from anything evil happening in our life during the year.

     Unfortunately, these are all stories now. But to us this has helped raise the kind of life we have today in relation to our religious faith.

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