In the Catholic Church calendar, the most famous event is probably the birth of Christ. However, the most meaningful one would be the week we are in now: Holy Week. 🙂
I’m not saying that Christmas is not meaningful. It’s just that it’s a season of happiness and merry-making, unlike Lent where people tend to be more reflective about their spiritual lives. I, for instance, am one of these “people.”
I’ve belonged to the Roman Catholic Church ever since I was born. For 21 years, I’ve been raised under a Catholic family, infused with Catholic values, belonged to a Catholic youth group (the Youth Mission for Parishes and Communities or YMPACT, founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez), and even studied in a Catholic school. But I’ve been thinking, what really makes a person, like me, a “Catholic?”
If we’re going to brush-up on our history lessons, the Catholic Church was started by Jesus Christ himself — but even Jesus was a practicing Jew. He appointed Peter to be the “rock” of His Church and eventually became the first Pope. In the Renaissance Period, the Catholic Church had undergone a very difficult situation because it was accused of taking advantage of the people and using the name of God for selfish gains, which led to the Reformation movement or Protestantism.
But despite all these, the Catholic Church is still standing strong today, and is most probably one of the strongest institutions ever built in history. Why? I don’t know the exact answer to that. All I know is that it takes one to make a difference and the rest will follow. Yes, the Church may have had its down times in the past, but that shouldn’t stop us, believers, from doing what’s right. Other religions accuse Catholics of not reading their Bibles or even being “Catholic” only in paper and not in deeds, but whose fault is that? I’m also guilty of this. But now, I’m starting to go back to Christ one step at a time (and not just because it’s Holy Week!)
I remember, back in high school up to my first year in college, I was a very religious person. I’d always pray the rosary, attend prayer meetings, and yes, read the Bible every night. Some of my college friends even thought that I’’ll end up being a nun! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Unfortunately, as things got more hectic and school requirements slowly became heavier, I also slowly drifted apart from the “faith” I used to have. 😦 I didn’t have time to pray intently anymore, I seldom attended prayer meetings, and I completely stopped reading the Bible! I know. Sounds very bad, right? But now, I’m taking charge again as I start to realize one by one the lessons I learned from that “experience.”
I remember coming to the Bible for help whenever I’m feeling down or whenever obstacles come my way (err… like finals?) Sometimes, I’d spend more time reading the Bible than review for exams, and guess what? I still pass! 😉 But of course, it’s always a give and take effort. Remember the saying, “Do your best, and God will do the rest?” That’s exactly it! And it worked for me that I can even be a witness to that! I became conscious of the fact that maybe, I only used “college” as an excuse for having drifted from my faith and it never should’ve happened like that because I always have the choice to do so. We all have a CHOICE; it’s just a matter of picking one and putting it into practice. Now, I may still haven’t gone back to my Bible-reading days but I try my best to serve in my Parish (Malate Catholic Church). I’m one of the members of the Lectors and Commentators guild who attends service every Sunday for the 12PM Mass. 😉
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now. I guess what I’m just trying to say is, if we want to be good followers of Christ (no matter what the “name” of our religion is and as long as we believe in Jesus) and just have the effort and time to get to know Him little by little, we’ll be on our way to being the best that we can be! Jesus Christ gave His life for US. Don’t you think that’s enough proof of how much He loves us?
So let’s do our part. This week, we commemorate how Jesus saved us. He already did His part and the ball’s now in our court. It’s never too late to be one with Christ. He’ll always be welcoming us with “open arms”…
Have a blessed Easter y’all! 😀