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Yesterday was Palm Sunday in the Christian world and my mate and I promptly rose early so we could attend the local service at our subdivision chapel/parish. As we walked along the already-crowded grounds, I overheard a little one cry out behind me, “Yey, just one more Sunday before Easter!” I instantly wished that sentiment was shared by the serious people about.

Noticeable among the other grown-ups with us, perhaps ninety-nine percent carried palm leaves to be blessed at the start of the mass. For these majority, this Sunday meant the week ahead was solemn, and painting boiled eggs for the coming Easter egg hunt was really the farthest from their minds.

Fast forward to the brekkie at home. Without giving it much thought, I mentioned how the priest’s lengthy sermon had made me feel faint because that meant standing too long. At this, my mate said it was quite normal for Holy Week homilies to be long, especially when narrating the Gethsemane scene leading to Christ’s crucifixion on the cross. For emphasis, the sermon was punctuated with matching dramatic dialogues by select parishioners. (I felt they sounded more like a Greek chorus).

In the midst of her soliloquy, her face lit up as though suddenly, a cartoon light bulb above her head turned on. Have you noticed how ironic was this thousand-year story, she began. While we have always focused on the ordeal of one man during this time of Lent and His having saved us from sin, there has still to be much to learned about the rest of the characters involved and how relatable they are here in the present.

Consider Pilate and his washing of hands. Doesn’t that remind us of some political figures today who make it part of their strategy to not rock the boat, so to speak, and instead tread on safer waters, so they could prolong their stay in power?

Or perhaps the mob and their mentality to who hold politicos to their word, especially when promoting their causes against those not of the same mindset. Among them is the modern version of gossipers and the Marites-es who are the self-proclaimed holder of truth. Then of course, there’s the betrayers, who jump ship at every turn to save face and survive. Not to forget the character of Judas, the slave to envy and money, whose characteristic is seen in many shades of people. Last but not least is the Pharisees, the church people from all faiths, who continue to profess to be holders of the only real truth, but instead are more concerned after power and their believers’ money.

In all, these may have been just subjective observations, but in the thousand years of the telling of Gethsemane, what needs to be really seen remains as the constant. There will always be martyrs and heroes in our history. However, it’s the people around them who will always be those that truly shape their being.


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