Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay! (Have a Happy Easter!)

We celebrate with great joy today as Jesus rises and lives! I pray that you had a meaningful Holy Week, with some time for reflection, introspection -- and just time to be quiet and be with the Lord.

I attended half-day retreats from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday (Fr. Borja, SJ says that Black Saturday is a pagan term so he prefers to call it Holy Saturday instead) and it was a good opportunity to learn new things about our Catholic faith but more importantly, it was the perfect time to feel the presence of God. In the busy-ness of everyday life, while we may be able to find time to pray and to commune with our Creator, it is a fact, that the world can get too noisy. I actually never realized how much I missed really praying until I went off on moments of reflection throughout the 3-day retreat.

One thing I really liked (from all the things I heard during the three days) was Fr. de Jesus', SJ point about Pasko. I learned that the first Pasko was not when Jesus was born but was during the pass-over story in the Old Testament. He says that in English, if we think of the greetings Merry Christmas and Happy Easter, there appears to be no connection between the two. The term, Easter, in fact, he says is also taken from the name of a pagan deity.

In Filipino, however, both Christmas and Easter are Pasko. Christmas is Pasko ng Kapanganakan while Easter is Pasko ng Pagkabuhay. There is thus a link or a connection between the two events. The child Jesus was born to die and rise to give us new life.

It is this new life that we celebrate with great joy today! In celebration of Easter, I share with everyone this piece by the very prolific and famous writer, Author Unknown. I read it in one of the books I came across and it is a good reminder about how much Jesus cares for us, in terms that are quite practical:

"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen.
He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem,
not to mention that Friday at Calvary?
Face it friend. He's crazy about you."

I leave you with that thought and greet all the readers of a glorious Easter! May we all live just as He died -- willing to pay the price. I wish you a lifestyle of loving and of faith.

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, April 4, 2010]

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