The Hour Is Near


Today is the Sunday before Easter, known as Palm Sunday. There was a blessing of the palms in the Dewan Holy Spirit and then a short procession from the Dewan to the Cathedral to celebrate Mass. This is the beginning of the Holy Week. It commemorates Jesus? entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. As He made His way into the Holy City, the crowd welcomed Him by waving palm fronds and laid their cloaks and branches on the path before Him. Palm fronds were symbols of victory and triumph during the time of Jesus.

The palm fronds that have been blessed will be kept in a place of reverence and then burned on the following year?s Ash Wednesday. The ashes are used to mark the symbol of the cross on the forehead of the faithful. This act of marking the cross fortify our faith in Christ and signify repentance before God. This is also to replicate the mark that was made on the forehead during baptism. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which is forty days to Good Friday.

At Anne?s invitation, I attended the RCIA Session after Mass. RCIA is the abbreviation for Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults. Today’s session was on the significance of baptism and the rites that we, the Elects, will be going through during Easter Vigil next Saturday. The RCIA is a process where men and women undergo a series of instructions and sharing of the Christian faith and then go through several significant rites before being initiated into the Catholic Church. That was the first time I attended the RCIA Session as the other times, Anne and Adel came to my apartment to instruct me.


The Cathedral also screened The Passion of The Christ after Mass. As I have watched this movie with Wuan last Tuesday I skipped it and attended the RCIA Session. While it was an enlightening rendering according to the Bible, I felt that certain parts of the account was overdone, namely the scourging scene where a full ten minutes was devoted to it. That is my only gripe to an otherwise gripping film. I shed tears on many scenes, the first when Peter denied that he knew Jesus and then realised that Jesus had foresaw that and told him so.

Those who have read the Bible can relate to The Passion of The Christ. Passion here means suffering, where Jesus was betrayed, mentally tormented, physically abused and then crucified on the cross. This movie, while helpful in buttressing the understanding of the Bible, has also invoked many questions. The Catholic Church was mindful enough to publish a book to answer questions that may arise from watching this movie. A counter was set up outside the Cathedral selling A Guide To The Passion ? 100 Questions About The Passion of The Christ. I bought a copy to help me understand the deeper meaning of Christ?s sacrifice and suffering in those final hours.

Lucia Lai also blogged about the Holy Week and Palm Sunday in Mental Jog.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

4 thoughts on “The Hour Is Near”

  1. peter, thanks for mentioning my blog on holy week. the permalink you asked in my blog… yes blogger does have a permalink but it is virtually unknown to non blogger users. well to get the permalink, you just click on the date. notice the line ‘mind jogging by lucia lai @ …….’ followed by the date? well when you click on the date there, you’ll get the permalink.

    the holy week permalink is this:
    http://jogalong.blogspot.com/2004_04_01_jogalong_archive.html#108109652634316990

    peter, i bet you are very excited waiting for holy easter to be baptised at last. i used to go to holy saturday or better known as easter vigil mass but since 2 years ago i had stop going to easter vigil mass but prefer to go to easter sunday mass. of course if i can, i would like to go to both but since i have to choose, i’d rather choose easter sunday. this is because i heard from a priest that easter vigil is more for RCIA candidates and their families/friends, whereas for the others easter sunday mass should be more important.

    well as with last year, this year i’ll be attending the easter mass at the church of our lady of sorrows. good friday i’ll be there too but holy thursday i’ll be at st francis xavier because i’m on duty as commentator.

  2. Lucia,
    Yes, I am looking forward to my baptism. I do not know what to say now. It will be a big day for me. I am getting breathless just thinking about it.

  3. Peter, I came across you site sometime back when I did a search on spinal cord injury. I read your story and I was touched by it. When I read it then I was wondering why you were not a Catholic like your dearest mom. Anyway, I said a little pray for you, that you will come to know Christ and His Church.

    After that I did not visit your site and today while doing a search on something else I found a link to your site again. I visited your site again to read your blog and know how you’re. And there I read your entry in your blog for Apr. 4, that you’ve been attending RCIA sessions. Praise God. I’m happy for you and pray that you continue to be blessed in Jesus who comes so that we can have life abundantly. (John 10:10) Praise be Jesus Christ.

  4. Heng,
    May i know the reason you were searching for spinal cord injury sites?

    I have the privilege of being touched by God’s grace. What more can I say? There is no turning back after that.

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