DOMINICAN preachers urged Filipinos to recall Christ’s sacrifices and follow his example of humility as they reflected on the “Seven Last Words” on Good Friday at Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.
Members of the Order of the Preachers and other speakers linked the Seven Last Words to current events, such as President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody anti-drug campaign and the proposed revival of the death penalty.
Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, and Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, stressed the need for forgiveness.
“Love your enemies, pray for your executors,” Sipalay said, reflecting on the first word, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“Patatawarin ka ng Diyos dahil alam Niyang may pag-asa ka pang ayusin ang buhay mo,” said Secillano, reflecting on the second word, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Fr. Florentino Bolo, Jr., O.P., director of the UST Institute of Religion, noted Christ’s relationship with his mother, Mary, as he reflected on the third word, “Dear woman, this is your son.”
“Ibinigay sa atin si Maria bilang isang handog,” Bolo said.
Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, O.P. of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, likened the fourth word, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” to the cries of relatives of victims of drug-related extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
“‘Diyos ko, bakit mo ko pinabayaan?’ Ito ay narinig ko sa mga naging biktima ng EJK, sa mga bata na naging biktima ng human trafficking,” Espenilla said.
Fr. Roman Santos, O.P. of Aquinas University urged Catholics to receive the Sacrament of Penance as he reflected on the fifth word, “I thirst.”
“Ang pagmamahal na nasaktan ay mahirap na pagdaanan. Sinira ng kasalanan ang kagandahan natin. Sa Sakramento ng Pagkukumpisal, binibigyan tayo ng pagkakataong magbalik loob,” he said.
UST Center for Campus Ministry head Richard Pazcoguin urged Catholics to submit themselves to the Lord, citing his personal travails as he reflected on the sixth word, “It is finished.”
“In Christ, even tragedies become good news, even broken hearts become blessings,” Pazcoguin said.
Echoing Pazcoguin was Fr. Felix de los Reyes, O.P., who reflected on the seventh word, “Father, into Your hands, I commend my spirit.”
“Sa mga panahong hindi natin hawak ang sitwasyon, inuudyakan tayo ng pananampalataya. Do your best and let God do the rest,” de los Reyes said.
Now on its 22nd year, the Seven Last Words or “Siete Palabras” was aired nationwide by GMA Network. It was organized by the Dominican Province of the Philippines, Santo Domingo Convent and Rhythm Sounds & Light Trading Corp.
The UST Salinggawi Dance Troup and Letran Filipiniana Dance Company performed in the annual event.