‘Remember why Jesus Christ is here’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Cebu, the Cebu Metropolitan Church has reopened its doors for devotees who want to physically attend the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 1.
And in his Homily, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the faithful to always remember the life and legacy of Jesus Christ.
“Dili kini pagdumdum lamang sa historya nahitabo 2,000 years ago. Atong pagsaulog makes present, makes real ang gugma ni Hesus sa atong panahon,” said Palma.
(This is not only to commemorate the history that transpired 2,000 years ago. Our celebration makes the love of Jesus Christ present and real in our generation.)
The prelate stressed the importance of commemorating important events in Christianity and the real meaning in observing Holy Week.
“Kung di na kita magdumdum, kung atong ulo amnesia na lang, then we are cut off from reality. We are cut off from the truth sa pagkadako sa kahulugan niining Eukaristiya gibuhat ni Kristo alang natong tanan,” Palma explained.
(If we forget, and what remains in our heads is only amnesia, then we are cut off from reality. We are cut off from the truth on how great is the meaning of this Eucharist that Jesus Christ did for all of us.)
A limited number of individuals were allowed to attend Thursday’s Mass at the Cathedral, a development Palma welcomed and celebrated.
“Dako atong pasalamat sa gobyerno nga gitugot kita nga magkita, muapil dinhi sa simbahan bisag 50 percent,” he said.
(We are grateful to the government for allowing us to see each other, and participate in church activities at a limited capacity of 50 percent.)
In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, all activities in line with the Holy Week were either canceled or done virtually. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper last year was participated only by church workers and priests and livestreamed through the Archdiocese’s social media handles.
Despite these challenges, Palma told Catholics to keep their faith strong.
“Bisan pa dunay COVID, dunay krisis, ug uban pa, dili mawala ang pagtuo ni Hesus nga naa siya kanunay kauban nato,” Palma said.
(Even if we have COVID, crisis, and other challenges, our faith in Jesus Christ will not waver as He is always with us.)
The entire Cebu island is placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for the month of April.
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