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The Way of the Cross is the Way of Hope

By Apol Baldemor

“The way of the cross is the way of victory, because God’s love is always victorious against evil and specially against death.” These are the words of Caceres Archbishop Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD. on Ash Wednesday. In the Catholic liturgical year, the Lenten season spans 40 days, Sundays not included. It represents the 40 days spent by Jesus in the desert while enduring the temptations of Satan. It is the season of prayer, penance, fasting, and alms giving. In the liturgical calendar, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season which ends on Black Saturday.

Last February 22, 2023, eucharistic celebrations were observed for Ash Wednesday. It is a day of penitential prayer and fasting for us Catholics. During the homily, the congregation were reminded that “we are dust, and to dust we shall return. Ash crosses are then placed on the foreheads of churchgoers after the homily, which symbolizes mortality and penance. The ash was from the burned palm leaves used in last year’s Psalm Sunday.

Group photo after the mass presided by Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD. He was joined by the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Joseph Wilfred V. Almoneda, Parochial Vicar Rev. Fr. Jhun Oliva and other members of the Caceres clergy. The Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Naga City celebrated its 25th Foundation Anniversary last February 20, 2023, with a Eucharistic Celebration held at the San Francisco Church. (Photo by CCCom)

In the evening, a Via Crucis or Station of the Cross took place at the patio of the Metropolitan Naga Cathedral. The way of the cross was presided over by Archbishop Tria Tirona. During his message before giving the final blessing, he told everyone that the way of the cross is a reminder of God’s love for us. God gave us His son to save us through his sufferings and death, to show us how much He loves us. “He humbled himself to be like us in all things except sin.”

The Archbishop preached of God’s selflessness. Furthermore, he said that through Jesus’ humility, He lifted us closer to God. Finally, the Archbishop reminded the people that death becomes a just transition to everlasting life for those who believe in Jesus Christ. He implored them to deepen their faith, pray, give alms, and do penance this Lenten season. As the Catholic Church commemorates Jesus’ passion and death on the cross, it is hoped that Lent will be a means to have a spiritual pilgrimage and contemplate the Passion of Christ through prayers.


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