Holy Week

One week late. Hoboy.

Here in the Philippines, Holy Week is a big deal. In parts of the country (don’t ask me where), they still reenact the Passion and Death of Christ. Everywhere else, it’s just strict observance of the holy days by going to mass, attending the Stations of the Cross, participating in a reenactment of the Washing of the Feet, and/or walking on your knees down the aisle of the church to kiss the crucified image of Christ on Good Friday.

Let me just say that for as long as I can remember, I’ve disliked following the rituals. When I was young I didn’t understand what these rituals were for even though I went to Catholic school, and now that I do, I still don’t like them. They’re very tedious and boring and done in the heat of summer which makes everything seem more drawn out than it actually is.

But there is something to be said about all these rituals and why people find it sacrilegious to skip them. These remind you of your humanity, that–at the very least–you come to pay respect to the one human (never mind that He was God at the same time) who actually willingly CHOSE to go through these painful events because of His great love for us.

I don’t know what other religions think of this important week for Catholics, and I know I haven’t been the most devout, but I believe that if none of these things were true, if Jesus didn’t exist, if the Bible is just fiction, you cannot discount the fact that if an ordinary human were asked to go through these trials and tribulations  voluntarily that person would say NO.

Holy Week is a time to reflect on one’s humanity, on one’s weakness, and on how one can be better. I don’t like attending any of these Holy Week events, true, but I attend them (well, the Good Friday ones, especially) because I need reminding that I am a finite and weak being who would choose not to go through all that pain and suffering. Does this mean I am limiting myself? No, it just means I am reminding myself to be humble and think of other people first.

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