Blessed Assurance!

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Blessed Assurance!

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The Calvary
The Calvary

Jesus lives! This is the day the Lord has made!

Today’s Homily centers on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It assures us that God has accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sins; it assures us that there is life after death; and it assures us that Christ is with us in the present and in the eternity future.

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, let us sing together Bill Gaither’s Because He Lives:

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

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The Risen Christ!
The Risen Christ!

Now, let us sing Fanny Crosby’s Blessed Assurance:

Note: Blessed Assurance is one of my favorite hymns written by blind hymnist and Queen of Gospel Song Writers Fanny Crosby. It has touched my heart since my childhood days and even until now I hum this whenever I remember with my heart at peace. Indeed, God has given us a blessed assurance through Christ. 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long…

Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

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Let’s move on to the old Jerusalem, the birthplace of Easter!

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Note: On this page are pictures at the village of the Compassionate God in Barangay Fatima, Inabanga town.

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The Holy Week started with the celebration of the Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ’s passion and death by marking His triumphant entry to Jerusalem.

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Several important events for the Christian faith were the Last Supper, the washing of the disciples’ feet, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the kiss of Judas, the Calvary, the death of Christ, Deposition and the Burial and Resurrection.

Inside the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral in Tagbilaran City, a giant scaffolding rose right before the church’s interior.  It has reached to the ceiling of the dome which is being painted.

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The painting is expected to finish on or before May 1, the city’s fiesta, church officials said.

God the Father of All Mankind
God the Father of All Mankind

The St. Joseph Cathedral the Worker Cathedral is one of the parishes founded by the Jesuit missionaries in 1595.

Although the bamboo scaffolding might be distracting during a worship service, it didn’t hinder hundreds of Boholano Catholics to attend Palm Sunday o Bendita sa Lukay.

Many brought palm fronds to church and re-enacted Christ’s entry to Jerusalem, waving the leaves at the priest as he made the entrance procession to the altar before the start of the Mass.

Bringing palm fronds, Florencia Dacaldacal, 72, was able to attend the 9 a.m. holy Mass officiated by Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

In his Homily, Bishop Medroso reminded the Boholanos  to reflect on the sacrifices of Christ for our salvation and carry the cross of Christ.  He also reminded the people that Christ is the only hope amidst trials and failures in life.

The 10 Commandments
The 10 Commandments

“This Holy Week, we should be like Jesus. We should follow His cross. The Holy Week is also a perfect opportunity for us to be reunited with the Church,” said Bishop Medroso in local dialect.

After the Mass, the faithful waved their palm fronds as the priest blessed them with holy water.  In Catholic belief, the waving of palms symbolizes the discipleship and a sign of the faithful’s desire to follow Christ.

Outside the church, several vendors were selling palm fronds since Saturday night. They sold palm fronds at P10, P20, P30 and P100.

For cotton candy maker Vic Maamo, 64, Palm Sunday was an opportunity to earn a living.

He said he ordered 50 bonds of lukay (young coconut leaves) from Catigbian town, at least 33 km from Tagbilaran. He bought it for P25 per bond.

Maamo said he could earn as much as P5,000 in a day compared to selling cotton candy which earn him only P1,000 on Saturdays and Sundays in front of the church.

“God’s mercy helps my family. We can buy rice and viand. And there is a little left for us to buy clothes for the kids,” he said.

The Last Supper
The Last Supper

After the Mass, the churchgoers returned home and hanged their blessed palm fronds on their front doors or windows as a sign of welcoming Christ in their homes.

But Dacaldacal believes that hanging the palms can also ward off evil.

“It has power because it was blessed by a priest,” she said.

Other faithful observed that while the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral has an ongoing painting, the Holy Week was also a perfect time to repainting the Christian faith.

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