Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday and the Call to Service

Occidental Mindoro politicians who are aspiring for different local positions are on the road for their campaign sorties even during the Holy Week. I am not only referring to the so-called Performance and Dream teams but even the “independent” candidates.

The whole province has 226, 971 total registered voters and San Jose has biggest number at 60,552 voters as of January 15, 2010. Second is Sablayan with 35,367 and Mamburao ranks third at 20,344. Looc has the lowest number of voters at 7,121. And here are the numbers for the rest of the municipalities : Abra De Ilog – 14,446; Calintaan – 12,085; Lubang – 15,126; Magsaysay – 16,788; Paluan – 8,899; Rizal – 17,426; and Sta Cruz – 18,817. These are not just statistics but a group of unique individuals with body and soul who are willing not only to be served but to serve. If properly motivated.

Today, Holy or Maundy Thursday, is the day of commemorating the institution of the Eucharist. However, today’s gospel is about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Both the institution of the Eucharist and Service (the washing of the feet) indicate the vocation of the Catholic,- as voters and politicians. Thus, we need to understand our call in light of the two readings we just mentioned. These are the intensive summation of his whole ministry, his pro-existence. His death, which faces him as a direct consequence of his life of service, will itself be freely accepted by him as an act of loving service on behalf of all.

Unlike many of the politicians in our province who only think of personal gains including their lapdogs or barkers who are willing to betray the integrity of their profession (as media practitioners) in exchange of thirty pieces of silver (read : perks, prestige and other gains) from modern day authorities.

After the Holy Week, a multi-sectoral group specifically from my hometown San Jose will hold an initial conveners meeting to iron out plans for a non-partisan and independent post-election phase activities aimed at credible, honest, accountable, meaningful and peaceful or CHAMP elections.

In his text message to us, Msgr. Ruben S. Villanueva, my boss, sums it all : "Sa krus sinukat ang lalim at tatag ng pag-ibig ni Kristo. Maraming mga hamon ang pananampalataya. Patuloy ang paanyaya ng krus ni Hesus sa isang ganap na pagtataya ng ating mga sarili bilang lingkod ng kanyang inibig na sambayanan."

Holy Thursday is challenging us to seek always a deeper participation in the Church’s liturgy. This participation to which the Second Vatican Council referred when it called us to a full, active, conscious participation in the liturgy is an invitation into which we all must enter each time we celebrate the sacred mysteries. The action happens at the altar but must find a resonance in our hearts and minds, in our family, community and society.

Also in the realm of politics and during election time…

(Photo from

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