OVP, partners hold mass and interfaith prayer service on Easter

Published April 4, 2021, 5:11 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, April 4, celebrated Jesus Christ’s resurrection with mass and inter-religion prayer service organized by her office and its partner at home.

Vice President Leni Robredo
(Photo by Jansen Romero / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

On her message after an online Easter Sunday Mass organized by Kaya Natin! Movement and the Office of the Vice President (OVP), she said the Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit and concern for others will be the bridge that leads the country to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vice president also highlighted the importance of being each other’s anchor  “during these extraordinary times of darkness.”

“Alam kong pagod na tayo. Araw-araw, may balita tayong napapanood o nababasa na nakakatakot, nakakalungkot, nakakagalit. Pero this Easter, magtiwala tayo: Malalagpasan natin lahat ito (I know that we are weary. Every day, we see and read in the news the things that scare us, make us sad, and enraged us. But this Easter, let’s us be hopeful. We are going to surpass all of these),” she said at the mass presided by Rev. Fr. Tito Caluag.

In the past year, Filipinos proved their capacity to help one another. Robredo said it was an undisputed truth that Filipinos are ready to sacrifice, contribute, and reach out to those in need.

“Itong malasakit  na ito para sa ating kapwa—kamag-anak man o kaibigan, kapitbahay man o kababayan—ang magtatawid sa atin lahat sa pandemyang ito. Ang pagbabayanihan natin ang nagpapatatag at nagpapalakas sa atin, ang sisigurong malalagpasan natin ang kalbaryong pasan natin ngayon (This concern for others—relatives or friends, neighbors or fellowmen—will be our bridge in this pandemic. Our community spirit will strengthen us, assures us that we will surpass the tribulations we carry now),” she stressed.

This spirit is alive, Robredo said, in those who last week asked how they could be of help during this pandemic.

“Kaya kahit na Holy Week, bukas ang opisina namin (Even though it is Holy Week, our office is open) to accept boxes of medical supplies and relief goods from generous donors. Patunay lang ito ng lagi nating sinasabi (This is proof of what we always say): The only way through any crisis is together,” she added. 

Robredo admitted that the Filipinos have lost a lot in the past year—“our way of life, our sense of anchorage, our hope for the future.”

But despite these, “we find ourselves here, in the comfort of one another—humuhugot ng lakas sa bawat isa, pinagbubuklod ng iisang hangarin na malagpasan ang hamon na ito (drawing strength from each other, linked by our common goal to overcome this trial).”

“So as we come together today, we pray that we continue to draw strength from each other, to keep reaching out, to be bridges where we can.”

Robredo said Easter should also remind people of “the loved ones that we lost, the medical professionals and frontliners who put their lives on the line to save our families—we will keep them always in our hearts, and honor their memory the best way we can.”

After the Mass, the OVP also organized an inter-religious prayer service where leaders from different religious organizations led the viewers to pray together for healing, for the country, and for the dearly departed.

Aside from Caluag, the service was led by Imam Abdurahim Taher, Pastor Jose V. Zabat Jr. for the North Philippine Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Church, Kenneth Lee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pastor Rico Ricafort of Victory Christian Fellowship, Bishop Dan Balais of Intercessors of the Philippines Bishop and Pastor of Living Stone Fellowship, and Sister Cho Borromeo of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

Meanwhile, Robredo also came up with a list of suggestions to help the government in its new prevent, detect, isolation, treat, reintegration (PDITR) strategy as the Enhanced Community Quarantine is extended for another week in the National Capital Region Plus bubble.

Although the vice president questioned the new strategy, she said there should be clear goals and score card to implement the PDITR strategy effectively, especially during this one-week ECQ extension.