Fr. JAY-AR ROFER, MJ
It has been a year already since the first lockdown was declared. Now, again we will experience another ECQ, another harsh and unscientific way to curb the virus. Another lockdown due to the increasing number of positive cases of Covid-19. When we first experienced the lockdown many went hungry. Many have lost their jobs. Jeepney drivers were begging for money and food along the highway because they were not allowed to operate. Fishermen were not allowed to go to the sea to fish.
Tangos in Malabon is a big community with a population of 35 thousand households. Most of them are daily wage earners. That means, no work, no food. One afternoon, ten women were looking for me and approached me. They asked for ayuda (financial aid) because their families have nothing to eat anymore. The ayuda of the government was not enough, especially for big families. I told them to pray for more donations. I felt helpless.
When I arrived in my rented apartment, I cried inside my room and prayed to the Lord to do something for the people. Lo and behold, there were organizations like Caring Heart Foundation, Inc., Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc., and some individuals who expressed their desire to help the poor people in Tangos. They sent us sacks of rice. We were able to feed the people.
Tangos Mission Station is also graced with dedicated and committed volunteers. We are around 50 volunteers.
Yesterday was Palm Sunday. It is also called Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Jesus triumphantly enters the holy city of Jerusalem. It is in Jerusalem that the paschal mystery will happen. Jesus rides on a colt like a king. However, the kingship of Jesus is not of power but humility; not to reign but to serve.
Despite the tragedy that happened to Jesus, there are some significant persons who show faithfulness and love to Jesus. One of them is the woman who anointed Jesus with the precious perfume. According to the gospel, as he (Jesus) was reclining at dinner, a woman entered carrying an alabaster jar of expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfumed oil on Jesus’ head. What the woman did to Jesus is an act of faithfulness that Jesus is the Christ. She believes that the Father works in Jesus.
In this pandemic, how do we show our love to the people especially the poor? In the mission stations of the Diocese of Kalookan, we have Busog-Puso Feeding Program. We feed 100 poor children every weekend. In Tangos, we also feed 100 senior citizens once a week. It is our concrete response to the growing hunger experienced by the people especially the poor. Let us not forget them, our sisters and brothers who are deeply affected by the pandemic. Let us continue to extend prayers and actions so that those who in leadership like the government will have the wits and the scientific tools to get us out of this predicament. Our solidarity is needed.
Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of Promotion of Church People’s Response. The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action. As we nurture our faith by committing ourselves to journey with the people, we also wish to nourish the perspective coming from the point of view of hope and struggle of the people. It is our constant longing that even as crisis intensifies, the faithful will continue to strengthen their commitment to love God and our neighbor by being one with the people in their dreams and aspirations. The Title of the Lectionary Reflection would be Balik –Tanaw , isang PAGNINILAY . It is about looking back (balik) or revisiting the narratives and stories from the Biblical text and seeing ,reading, and reflecting on these with the current context (tanaw).