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Sacrifices

Although the pandemic is not yet officially over and we are still bracing ourselves for at least one more surge of infections, this holy week is looking like it will be the first proper one we have had in two years.

We are no longer in lockdown, and for now, most of the country is practically under Alert Level Zero, meaning that the threat of COVID is still present but to hell with it, let’s enjoy this lull by pretending that life is back to almost normal.

For the faithful, this means a long awaited return to face-to-face confessions, Stations of the Cross, Visita Iglesia road trips, attending processions and partaking in Easter Sunday feasts.

For the less faithful, it would mean local tourism is finally going to see the mini boom it has been waiting for. Typhoon Agaton may put a damper on plans but if you have faith in Accuweather, the weather should clear up by the weekend, allowing for trips to either the beach or mountains, which our beautiful island has plenty. The more daring will be traveling to other parts of the country and the select few might have already planned travels abroad.

For those who are caught up in the election fever, the bad news is that campaigning is not allowed on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The good news is these busy people get to take a break for two days. Hopefully the candidates, their staff and volunteers spend it well, recharging their batteries and renewing their faith and morals so they can stump for their chosen one with fresh hearts and minds as soon as it is humanly and legally possible once more.

However you plan to spend this weekend, please keep in mind that we are still under a pandemic and that we are actually bracing ourselves for another surge. Keep your masks on, observe physical distancing, take your vitamins, make sure you are vaxxed and boostered.

We will be commemorating the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the next few days, interestingly with the excitement of high school kids being dismissed from the last day school. However, in the midst of that excitement, let us take some time to reflect on the past two years that we have endured because of the pandemic. It has been truly difficult and because we don’t want to go through it again, we should do what we could to save our world from it.

If you come to think of it, Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross in order to save us from our sins. This suffering we have reflected upon during the 40 days of Lent, which is due to culminate this week. The faithful have abstained, fasted, and prayed as we try to understand the suffering our savior went through for our sake.

As we celebrate our 3rd Holy Week under the looming shadow of a devastating pandemic which is not yet officially over, let us remember to thank those of us who have “died” so that others may live.

Because if you come to think of it, those who have allowed themselves to be vaccinated and boostered despite the potential side effects and the uncertainty surrounding the urgently-developed COVID-19 vaccine, are the ones who have displayed the most Christ-like behavior among us. While we reflected and searched for Christ in our hearts over the past 40 days, we forget that many of us have offered to “die” and accept the jab, just so our society can have a better chance of live again, while others refuse it because they were not willing to “suffer” for the better good.

What Jesus Christ went through during his passion and death is nothing compared to getting 2-3 jabs, but both actions were done for the sake of the many. Christ died 2000 years ago to save us from our sins, while millions of us put aside the fears and made the choice to get vaccinated 3-6 months ago to save the world and our loved ones from many more years under the specter of a COVID pandemic.

But despite the millions who already decided to take one for the team, there are still millions who didn’t and that is something we still need to work on, especially now that it feels like this pandemic is at the end game. We may feel like winning because of the current lull, but things could just as easily slip back to 2020 levels (or worse) if we don’t finish the job properly. Vaccination is still our best weapon against for achieving herd immunity and ending this pandemic. If we can’t finish the job, we may ending starting from scratch all over again.

So, as we ponder on our 2022 Lenten sacrifices and reflections, let us look at our vaccination status. Those who have just 1 shot should complete it. Those who aren’t boostered should get it. Those who have avoided it so far may want to reconsider getting jabbed and being part of the movement to save the world as part of their Lenten sacrifice.

In all my Holy Weeks in this earth, I never thought that I could do something that could save the world. It is only during this Lent that I realize that there are many little but significant actions that can do it. If we cannot suffer and die on the cross, maybe we can get vaccinated to do our share to stop a pandemic and save the world.*

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