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Carrying the cross beyond Good Friday

The St. Joseph’s Filipino Community held its Lenten recollection on the Ching Ming holiday in the run up to the Easter celebration on April 4 in the parish church.

Over 300 people from the five Filipino communities in the parish attended an afternoon of reflection and prayer led by Divine Word Mission Society seminarian Arjay Venus.

The Filipino Prayer Group, The Sowers, the Legion of Mary and Apostleship of Prayer joined the host group, together with some friends and visitors from other parishes for the afternoon retreat, which began with the celebration of Mass celebrated by the parish priest, Father Midas Tambot, at midday.

Venus led us through a short meditation on the sacredness of nature, saying appreciating the importance of all life helps us to appreciate the sacredness of our own lives and the importance of nourishing the environments in which we live.

This was followed by a reflection on our life situations, helping us to look at how we relate to our families, our husbands and children, as well as our friends and support groups here in Hong Kong.

Venus also discussed how reflecting on the suffering of Jesus helps us to deal with our own difficulties. He said that connecting with the cross is important, because in the cross there is faith, humility, blessing and love, but most of all there is Jesus.

He also mentioned that in the same way as Jesus who died on the cross, we must face our own suffering and carry our own crosses. He quoted the Gospel of St. Matthew (16:24) as saying, “If anyone who wants to become my follower; let them deny themselves and take up their own cross and follow me.”

In problem times and in times of difficulty, if we fall under the weight of our cross, in the same way as Jesus, who fell three times on the way to Calvary, we need to rise up and embrace our cross, for if we die with Jesus on the cross, we will experience his resurrection.

● Liza Valdez-Arro