“Seven Last Words of Christ” by Javier Luis Gomez

“For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.“

Rom 12:4-5

As we enter into Holy Week, we approach the summit of the liturgical year. It is a time that draws us in to the very heart of the Christian mystery. Through the Triduum the saving love of God continues to manifest itself in our lives today.

To help us enter more fully into the mystery, we invite everyone to attend a meditation on the seven last words of Christ. Friday is the day that Jesus died on the cross. It was on this day that his body was beaten, persecuted, scourged, spat on and crucified. Today, Christ’s body is still tortured, persecuted, discriminated and killed. Beyond the borders of the Philippines, Christians all over the world continue to participate in the sufferings of Christ.

This unique meditation will bring to us sharers from different backgrounds and different cultural milieu. They will share with us their experiences of being Catholic in different parts of the world, and how in their experiences they find solidarity with Jesus Christ.

From Malaysia, Peter Toyat shares with us his experiences living in a country that is a melting pot of different faiths and cultures. Peter is actively involved in Christian-Muslim dialogue and interreligious dialogue in his home country.

Ian Monsod is from our parish and has recently returned home after living in the America for many years. He brings to us a story of struggling to keep his faith in a culture that is becoming increasingly secularized.

Sister Luz Mariais a Columbian sister who has been in the Philippines for many years, working at the Holy Family Home is Taguig. She compares her Latin-American roots to our own Filipino context and how there is much we can learn from each other.

Sr. Mary Vanaja, MCJ (Vana) is an Indian sister shares with us the history of the Indian church and how it has deep Christian roots that come out of the period of great missionary evangelization. The Church in India today faces many struggles that are shared by many Asians across the region.

Fufu Widjaya is a wife and mother of three young children. She has lived in Manila for almost ten years now, after having grown up in Indonesia. She shares with us her experiences growing up as a minority Catholic in a country that is mostly Muslim – and how that experienced has shaped her today.

Father Rey Legayadahas recently spent much time stationed with the Franciscans in Spain. Over his time there he has seen many of the changes that the Church in Europe has undergone and he shares his own insights on that reality.

Mara Eala spent some time after her studies to volunteer with the Assumption sisters in east Africa last year. She traveled around Tanzania and Kenya helping the sisters with their ministry. She shares with us what she has seen from the Church in Africa.

Each of the sharers will share with us their experiences with the universal church. As we contemplate on the sufferings of Christ, let us also meditate on the sufferings the body of Christ continues to experience today.

The Seven Last Words takes place on Good Friday – 1:30pm to 3pm.

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Javier teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University and is the head of the Evangelization Ministry at Santuario de San Antonio. He continues to work with young people both in and out of the parish.

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