Tonight is going to be a quiet one. I’ve got leftovers in the fridge, so I don’t have to do any cooking, AT ALL! Whooopeee! I can just nuke my food in the microwave, plonk myself on the couch and watch telly mindlessly. I have chicken, gravy and mash, monggo guisado (sautéed mung bean) and sinigang (which is a bit like the Thai tom yum) and steamed rice.
I feel slightly guilty because I am in no way in a reflective mood yet. If I was in the Philippines, I’d be knee-deep in preparations for the Holy Week. Being a very Christian nation, we take the Lenten season very seriously. We really call the days by their “religious” names: Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, Easter Sunday. I was very active in church, and during the season of Lent, we were busy. On Good Friday, our church holds a service for the Seven Last words. The choir sings songs in between sermons about the seven last words of Christ while he was crucified. Then there was the sunrise service on Easter Sunday and the Easter Sunday service. And of course, everyone who can, helps with the Easter Egg hunt in church, so egg decorating is another thing that keeps us busy AND in church during the Holy Week.
Before the advent of cable television, I remember that the TV and radio stations would shut down during the week of Lent, save for Fr Patrick Peyton’s Holy Week movies, or Fr. Sonny Ramirez’ Holy Week TV shows. Work usually shut down half-day on Wednesday and the stores closed as well. Everything would grind to a halt. It made for an excellent environment for introspection and for prayer.
I told myself that I would take the time to read the Bible on Friday. To think about everything I’ve learned about God and how good He has been, and what Easter really means.
Now mind you, I’m not above enjoying a chocolate bunny or a chocolate Easter egg (chocolate, I think, is one of God’s most wonderful blessings!). But Holy Week is what it is, especially for a Christian like me. I don’t profess to be religious at all, but I know that Holy Week is the time one must remember that Christ died so that the world may be redeemed.