Siete Palabras: Father, into your hands we entrust our country
The annual reflection on the “Siete Palabras” or seven last words of Jesus Christ at Sto. Domingo Parish in Quezon City touched on the upcoming national elections in May, as church leaders urged voters to thoroughly assess the candidates to whom they would entrust the nation’s future.
Fr. Filemon de la Cruz O.P., vice rector for religious affairs of University of Santo Tomas, said Filipinos should always value their God-given dignity by refusing to sell their votes to corrupt politicians.
“Mga kapatid, mahal ang ipinantubos sa iyo. Ganoon ka kamahal ng Diyos. Hindi ka mura kaya huwag mong gawing mumurahin ang iyong buhay,” said De la Cruz, who reflected on the second of seven last words, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
“Mukha lang madali ang pagpapatawad na iginawad sa atin. Ngunit ang katumbas nito ay ang buong buhay ng Panginoong Hesukristo,” he added.
Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. of Aquinas University said the voting public should always side with what was right and just amid the perennial problems hounding the Philippines and less than two months before the May polls.
“Dahil malapit na ang halalan, higit na matingkad sa atin ang mga problema sa lipunan—traffic, transportasyon, kawalan ng trabaho, korapsyon sa gobyerno, lagayan sa kontrata sa mga proyekto ng pamahalaan, droga,” Arceo said.
“Kung ano ang tama, kung ano ang makatwiran, ‘yun ang pinapagawa ni Kristo ngayong nalalapit na halalan,” he added.
Arceo, who reflected on the third of Jesus’ last sayings, said Filipinos should vote for candidates who had skills and moral courage to drive away corruption in government and proliferation of drugs.
“Iboto natin ang may abilidad, kakayanan at lakas ng loob pigilan ang korupsyon sa pamahalaan,” he said. “Panahon na para tayo ay gumawa ng tama at mag-milagro sa ating sariling bansa.”
Fr. Clarence Victor Marquez, rector of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila, said the success of the upcoming elections that would elect a new chief executive would be the start of a new chapter of service.
“Ang susunod na kabanata ay nasa atin na. Sikapin nating ganapin ang wikang ito sa kabanalan at kabutihan,” said Marquez, who reflected on Jesus’ sixth last word, “It is finished.”
“Sa halalan, ang pinakamahalaga ay ang wakas, ang paghuhusga sa paglilingkod,” he added.
Reflecting on Jesus’ final word, Fr. Enrico Gonzales O.P. urged Filipinos to put their trust and confidence in Christ and be united in prayer, love, and forgiveness amid fears and uncertainties.
“Sa iyong mga kamay Ama, inihahabilin namin ang aming bayan. Iligtas mo kami sa mga tampalasang pultiko,” he said.
This year’s Siete Palabras coincides with the Jubilee of Mercy and the Order of Preachers’ 800th foundation anniversary. RC
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