07 April 2010

Last week was Holy Week or Semana Santa, a Catholic tradition of remembering the Passion of Christ. In filipino, it is also called Mahal (love) na Araw (day) although in filipino it translates to banal (holy) na linggo (week). But you see, it is not only the local reference that is confusing about this holy celebration. Holy Week in the Philippines means also cenakulo (street theater that re-enacts Christ passion), fasting and abstinence and the extreme sacrifice for some people to undergo their own crucifixion and flagellation meant to atone for their sins and to share in Christ's passion on the cross. But while Holy Week meant undergoing these sacrifices for some, for others, it is also about the easter eggs, bunnies and egghunt- pagan tradition that celebrates Ostara or Eostre during the Spring Equinox! I remember some of the Priests would even host such events during Easter Sunday in our church! And when friends would text me easter messages interspersing Christian and Pagan traditions, I would amusedly text back some clarification.
So what is Easter or Holy Week to me? Holy Week for me is about renewal, of looking back, and looking within. Of understanding that our human weakness transcend time, when people wave palms to welcome a Savior only to turn their backs to crucify Him when their needs were not met. Of knowing that this weakness must be conquered and knowing that we do not have needs that we can not provide for. That our sins will only remain sins if we chose to believe it. And that the Savior we are waiting for is actually a God of Love, expecting nothing of His/Her creations but love.
Easter for me is joy, family, welcoming spring or the concept of spring since we do not have spring but summer. Of harvests, of celebrations, of renewing ties and remembering that there is only love not fear.
Put together, my past week is spent in joyful prayer. Of joyful prayer manifested in attending to my dogs, our plants, cleaning and painting my sister's wall, praying for healing for sick and lonely friends, for rain, for cooler winds, and painting my heart and dreams in child-like abandon . . . .

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