Sunday, April 16, 2006

quid est veritas?

Happy Easter to you all!

The quote above is a Vulgate ("street") Latin translation of Pontius Pilate's question to Jesus: "What is truth?". I thought about a lot of "truths" during the Holy Week, especially at the Paschal Triduum:

  1. Palm Sunday - went to a recollection and mostly prayed using the Ignatian method known as contemplation, or imagining a scene from Scripture and putting oneself as one of the characters. We focused on the Last Supper scene and I was particularly moved by the insight that everyone, not only Jesus and the Twelve, but even the female cooks and handmaidens, were blessed and given importance. Then, I watched The Gospel of Judas on National Geographic and pondered on the possibility that Jesus Himself asked Judas Iscariot to prepare for His suffering and ultimate death in order to "sacrifice the man that clothes" Him. Again, there was an interesting insight from the show: even then, during the early days, there have been many interpretations of Christianity, and the discovery of this text gives us the idea that there once had been a group of Christians who thought that the relationship between Jesus Christ and Judas was significant, and that they were able to celebrate and glorify the existence of Judas.
  2. Holy Wednesday - went out to dinner with a few people at the branch and expressed our thoughts on the officer reshuffle at the back office. I felt it was timely, given the fact that it's Holy Week and we should think about forgiveness. Some of us thought otherwise and felt she deserved the Calvary she got herself into. Anyway, it will end with her transferring and I'm hopeful that her life will be less, uh, dramatic.
  3. Maundy Thursday - gone to Bulacan for the family Pasyon or Pabasa and finished chanting at about 5pm. After singing the Tagalog verses, I had an appreciation for the sensual (meant here as intense use of the five senses) nature of the language and how it creates such vivid images of the last days of Christ. It's senakulo on paper! At the same time, it made me think about why it had to be so; it was a form of inculturation, and scriptural scenes had to be interpreted in such a way that it would fit into the mold of the Filipino epic song, with familiar elements such as the "good triumphs over evil" theme, mystical events and legends.
  4. Good Friday - went to and sang for the Friday service at Gesu (Mass and Way of the Cross). Dad went with Ate to a different service (a Spiritist session) in Malabon to hear reflections on the holy days. He came home asking me about the Gospel of Judas, the Da Vinci Code, and was so excited about the possibility that more people would embrace the philosophy that has fascinated him all his life. This got me thinking: all my life, the religion I furiously defended was carved from readings approved by elders (who insisted the world was flat and prosecuted anyone who thought otherwise), and mindlessly disregarded all other references which they found difficult to understand and thus difficult to teach to common people whom they wanted to recruit into the flock. There have been a lot of other perspectives labeled as heresy, thrown to and lost in the wind, and those which remained to this day are still scoffed at, like my dad's, only because it's not included in the canonical gospels and they don't practice it within the fundamental faith.
  5. Black Saturday - watched a rerun of The Passion Recut, and over lunch Kuya volunteered to buy a pirated DVD of the movie instead of having to watch it right now. I told him, "Kumusta naman ang pagbili ng pirated DVD ng Banal na Kasulatan, noh?", to which he replied, "Eh kumusta din naman na nakakita ka pa ng difference sa pagbili ng pirated DVD ng regular movie at Banal na Kasulatan?" -- nga naman.
  6. Easter Vigil - read the Second Reading -- a loong narration of the Parting of the Red Sea, and sang the responsorial psalm. Also liked Fr. Arnel's homily on salvation history -- that God has been redeeming His people since the Old Testament, and ultimately sacrifices His Son and resurrects Him in the New Testament, but they still don't get the fact that they have been saved many times over! Fr. Arnel began with telling the Oprah episode where everyone in the audience got a brand new car and found themselves stunned and dumbfounded before it dawned on them that something so wonderful had been unbelievably presented to them. I also bumped into an old friend which started another buzz of gossip in the family car on the way home (but it's not about me!)...I guess one person's suffering is another's redemption.
Well, that's about it. I gotta catch some zzzz's as I'm off to a baptism in Antipolo this morning! I wonder who else is invited in our little group....

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