Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Cross For Salvation

How do you measure the love of Christ?
How can we make holy week, holy?

Let me share my story to you.
Year 2006, I attended a conference of different leaders and public servants. (The politicians) I was with the barangay council as member of the youth council. 

I did not spend any penny just to have this conference in Camiguin Island – where the sweetest lansones are just anywhere and sold for as low as 10 pesos per kilo on their lansones festival. (You can actually bring home for free if you can display a good charisma to the constituents.)

The place is clean with natural hot spring and white sand beaches.
It is one of the best tourist spots that I’ve come to see.
My mind was refreshed with a beautiful nature.
The feeling was like, sitting on the seashore, watching the sea, the sky was blue and the wind was tapping my cheeks.

And I could also feel the sea water, slowly invading my feet where the sand was rolling up and down.
But these feelings have broken when I received the text messages from my classmates.
They informed me that the thesis defense was rescheduled for tomorrow.

My day was turned so dark and heavy. It's like I was carrying all problems in the world.
I was hopeless and totally burdened. I did not know what first move to do.
I went out from the conference hall to be alone so I could think of better ways.
And I came up with these considerations:
1. If I would give up this conference, they would be disappointed in me.
2. If I would go back home alone, how sure I would have to arrive there at the time of our defense.
3. If I would finish the conference and I have to try to convince our dean to reschedule the date of defense for me.
After few hours, I’ve marked the sand for my decision.
So I confronted the chairman and told about it.
Guess what decision did I make?
Luckily they all understood.
Yes, you have it in mind, I went home alone.
I did not finish the conference.

I only savored the first day of this conference. (Which was supposed to be a three-day conference.)
On my trip, I’ve realized that I wasn’t grateful to my classmates for their concerns and to
my teachers for pulling my thesis down to the list of defense.

My classmates also volunteered to defend first so I could be the last.
(They considered my distance.) Instead, I became resentful of my situation. I did not commend the people who hoped and waited for me at school.
So I said to myself, “when I meet you guys, I would hug and thank you.”

To make this story short, guess what?
This defense was successful. (With a rising intonation on the word successful.)
I should be thankful for these people, for saving me even if I was distant.
Without the help of these people, I wouldn't be of where and who I am today.
My friends, it's holy week.
The essence of this day is to commemorate the salvation of our sins through the crucified God on the cross.
Yes, we are aware about Jesus Christ who died on the cross to redeem all our sins.
I always cry everytime I remember His sufferings.
The Passion of Christ has been very emotional to us.
Watch this video:

(Admit it, you wipe your tears everytime you watch the video.)

Jesus has felt so much pain when they nailed His hands on the cross.
I could not imagine the pain.
The Passion of Christ is the period of the most intense suffering from the garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion.

What was the source of the passion of Christ? It was his intense love for mankind. The great love of Jesus resulted in his apex and commitment to walk a very stiff and narrow path to redeem mankind.

For the sake of renewing humans to fellowship with God, he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant by being made in human likeness. - Philippians 2:6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.His passionate love caused him to put forth the glory of heaven to take human ways and live an obedient life of self-sacrifice required by the holiness of God. 

Only such a selfless love could ever produce the pure and innocent blood sacrifice required to cover the sins. - John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
It’s a reflection for us to give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever.
His deepest love is never compared to anyone on earth for His love is incommensurable.
His love is limitless but never vague.
It's a love with horizontal and vertical. Just like the cross for salvation.

And friends, let’s not worry for this.
Let’s just honor our God; give Him thanks for the salvation of mankind. 
Praise and glorify His name for He is the most high. Let’s repent for our shortcomings and do more good things on earth. Jesus would be more grateful if we can do all of these things.

So, how do you make holy week holy? please watch this video:

Six Ways to Make your Holy Week Really Holy

                                           by:  Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD 

Friends, let's give ourselves a favor.
Free our hearts from wickedness, sinfulness, anger, vengeance, and selfishness. Forgive people who have hurt you and ask forgiveness to those you are in conflict with.
Life is all about faith, hope and love.
Let's live with joy and compassion in the heart.

May you have a blessed and reflective holy week.
God bless you.

In Christ,
Robi Marapao

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