"Let's Party!"

Yesterday at Easter Sunday mass, the priest said something very nice during the Homily:

Easter is God’s way to telling us with a smile, “Let’s party!”

I agree, don’t you think? :)

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There’s something about this year’s Lent that is a bit different from last year. Okay, make it a lot different. Last year, I ended Lent and the Holy Week feeling a lot regretful, and even remorseful because of all the things that I did and didn’t do. Last year, I felt like a Peter. I was uncomfortable, but I didn’t accept it because I felt like all the things I worked for, all the things I planned didn’t happen and it annoyed me. I really did end the Holy Week more uncomfortable and humble, but I still had a hard time connecting with God because I was resisting. And I realized then that when I resist, boy I do resist.

So this year, I didn’t exactly promise to be better. I remember promising as Lent started that I will be more open this year. I will try, and I know I will fail, but I will keep on trying. It was the first time I fasted from something that I really love (which was really harder than it was!), and this was also the first time that I told myself to keep an open mind. I was a bit nervous for the Holy Week, because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, and truth be told, I asked God to not make me cry. Hah, like that would happen.

Anyway. My Triduum was quiet. Wednesday night, my mom and brother and I watched The Book of Eli, then Thursday was the usual mass, followed by a night of silence because cable went out. Friday was spent in Bisita Iglesia, and followed by the Veneration of the Cross and Communion, which was the point of resistance for me last year. This year, I really prayed for an open heart, and found myself opening up to the experience. I realized that it may not be convenient, it may be hot inside the church…but as they say, the best time to be uncomfortable is during Holy Week. And it was definitely uncomfortable, but I was able to somehow relive Christ’s passion (less the gory images, of course) and realize yet again how much Jesus loved us, loved me.

Until now, my heart is having the difficulty trying to fathom all of this. How could one man save us from our sins? How could the death of one man do so much? But I guess that’s the mystery of it, that it’s really something that my puny heart and mind cannot and will not ever understand, at least until I get to His Kingdom. He’s not asking me to understand, anyway, He’s just asking me to believe. Sometimes I admit that it may be easy to just not believe because I honestly don’t think my mind can comprehend it fully…but going down the path of non-belief feels like a dark and dreary and lonely path that I would never ever go down that. I’d rather sell my timeshare and give up everything else than decide not to believe in God’s love and mercy.

One of the things I realized over the weekend one of the reasons (or effects?) on why I’m struggling so much right now. I wanted clarity. I feel so unsettled because although I know that God is always there, I had a hard time believing that He actually was. I have so many plans, so many dreams that I am always afraid of them not being fulfilled. I have so many questions that I don’t know how to answer or what the answer is, and in that fear, I just chose to stop asking. The reason why I wanted to keep on going back my college time is that it’s my mountain top. It’s the time when I knew I was so connected with God that never a day goes by without me knowing something about Him, without me hearing something from Him. Right now, all I can hear is static, and I know it’s not because He’s not speaking — it’s because I’m not listening.

I’m not sure if I’m explaining it correctly. What I learned in the past three days is that if I want to get some kind of clarity, I’ve got to connect. And for me to connect, well I’ve got to pray. I’ve complained and struggled about my prayer time, but I admit to never really doing anything about it…until now. I can’t remember if I blogged about fighting for my heart and all, but I’ve got to recognize that if I wanted to be connected to God, and to know His will and to hear His word…well, I’ve got to fight for it. I’ve got to assurance that it is a won battle, but it doesn’t mean I have to stop fighting. I need to fight for my relationship with God, I need to fight for my prayer time, because I’m pretty sure that He is fighting for it, too.

So by God’s grace, I’m trying again — this time, it’s for real. I will try, and I will fail, but I will keep on trying. I’ve missed Him for too long, and this Lent has reminded me that Jesus died because He couldn’t bear the thought of me not being with Him in Heaven…and I can’t let that go to waste. He loved me this much, and I can’t just ignore that. I can’t.

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To celebrate Easter Sunday, my family and I headed to Bonifacio High Street at my request to check out Church Simplified‘s Walkway. Suffice to say that it was a great idea, and I’m glad we went through it even if it was really hot. I have a lot of pictures that I have to upload, and if you missed the Walkway, make sure you go there next year if they have it again because it’s definitely a new way to experience the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. :)

This part at the last station spoke to me a lot, and I hope I never forget this:

Never let familiarity breed contempt

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One last before I head home! I rekindled my love for one of my favorite Holy Week songs over the weekend: I See Love by Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and Mercy Me.

Some see a prisoner, alone before his judge
With no one to defend him
Some see a victim, beaten and abused
With all the world against him
Some see a martyr, carrying his cross
For what he believes
Some see a hero who set his people free…

But I see love, I see love
Light of heaven breaking through
Well I see grace, I see God’s face
Shining pure and perfect love
When I see you

With your last breath, I see love
Through your death, I see love
I see peace in the eyes of the king
I see hope in your suffering (I see love)
I see a calm in the center of the storm
I see a Saviour…

Some see Him walking from an empty grave.

Happy Easter everyone. ♥