FROM AGUINALDO TO BASILAN, SOLDIERS TO CHEER FOR PACMAN

The military will go all out to cheer on Army reservist Manny Pacquiao when he meets Timothy Bradley in their rematch today in La Vegas. Pacquiao’s bout would be aired live down south at an Army jungle base in Basilan, the scene of day-long fierce fighting between government security forces and the Abu Sayyaf militants on Friday. Lt. Col. John Paolo Perez, commanding officer of Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion, said bringing the bout live to the troops in the jungles of Basilan will give them an opportunity to see their idol fight Bradley. “Yes, we will also have our own pay per view here in my hut at our headquarters in Unkaya Pukan,” said Perez, who lost two of his men in last Friday’s fighting. With the fighting against the Abu Sayyaf already over, Perez expects the entire province of Basilan to be peaceful, even just for today, as most if not all the people, including the Abu Sayyaf, are avid fans of Pacquiao. Pacquiao, who holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, has the full backing of his mother unit, the Philippine Army, which declared yesterday its unwavering support for the quest to dethrone Bradley as World Boxing Organization welterweight champion. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said Pacquiao has the total support of the 80,000-strong Army. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Watch boxing match, but don’t miss mass’ -Bishop

The faithful can watch today’s boxing match but they should also attend Mass on Palm Sunday. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said he does not see the bout between Manny Pacquiao and American Timothy Bradley Jr. as a reason for Catholics to miss out on their religious obligation. “There are many mass schedules during Sundays,” Villegas said. Pacquaio’s fights usually last from late morning until early or mid-afternoon, thus there is enough time to hear Mass in the evening, he said. “I think the good Catholics would not choose watching the boxing match on television over attending mass, especially now that it is Holy Week,” Villegas said. Fr. Genaro Diwa of the Archdiocese of Manila said today’s Palm Sunday observance is a holy day of obligation because it also marks the start of the Holy Week. Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz also said Sunday is Mass day “with or without the palms.” As Filipino Catholics start the observance of Holy Week, Villegas reminded the faithful to offer sacrifices for the poor. “The point of fasting is you say no so that you can say yes to the needs of the poor,” he said. “The Holy Week is holy not because of sacrifices, because of your pain, but the Holy Week is holy because God puts so much love…and no one has loved in the same way that Jesus loved.”

ALSO: How often do we deny Christ?

Today, Palm Sunday, ushers in the celebration of Holy Week. It is called “Mahal na Araw,” literally “costly” day, because God saved us at a very costly price. His Son, Jesus Christ, suffered ignominiously, died, and resurrected in order to redeem us. St. John Chrysostom says, “Redemption was completed by God during these days. Holy Week begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. Peter and the apostles were euphoric as they basked in the royal welcome accorded their Master amidst shouts of “Hosannah, Son of David!” But shortly afterwards, when Jesus was dragged from one court to another, helpless and pathetic, Peter who had declared at the Last Supper that he would never abandon Him, denied Him thrice and all the others, except John, fled in disgrace. How often do we deny and abandon Christ in the way we live. Government officials, who enrich themselves through scams and briberies, do it. So does a husband who cheats on his wife and vice versa. Then there’s the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas. Judas’ tragic treachery stemmed from the expectation that Christ would become the political Messiah and, being a materialistic man, he realized how much wealth he could amass under his leadership. But when he found that Jesus would be just the opposite – a “Suffering Servant” – he betrayed him for 30 sordid pieces of silver. Don’t we have a streak of Judas in us at times? When a friend is successful, we lionize him; but the moment he is down and broke, we drop him like a hot potato. “Success is relative,” somebody quipped. “The more successful you are, the more relatives you have.” As with Judas, isn’t money the root of conflicts, betrayals and vengeance? The elders, chief priests, and scribes – the ruling class – who manipulated the people so that a few days before they had shouted “Hosannah,” but on Good Friday turned out shouting “Crucify him, crucify him!” Don’t we have such people among politicians and charlatans who deceive the masses by making empty promises; who talk big but are short on deeds? Instead of being passive spectators of the great drama of Christ’s Passion, the greater challenge is to be active participants of the paschal events – the suffering, death, and resurrection – of Jesus Christ. All of us have our own Calvary, our passion and death. But like Christ, we too will know and feel the beauty, the joy of the Resurrection, if we but suffer and die with Him. THIS IS FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Tired pope presides at Palm Sunday services

A tired and somber-looking Pope Francis led a Palm Sunday service before more than 100,000 people, opening two packed weeks of activities including Easter and the canonisation of two popes. The faithful waved palm and olive branches as the 77-year-old Argentine pope, whose pontificate is 13 months old, rode into the square on a white jeep and stopped at the center of the square to bless palm and olive branches. The pontiff, wearing red vestments, appeared fatigued at the start of the ceremony and was particularly solemn when he delivered an impromptu homily, putting aside the one he had prepared. He looked tired and subdued through most of the service but later perked up and seemed energized as he greeted young people holding palm branches, and was driven around the square so more people in the crowd could see him. The Vatican estimated the crowd at more than 100,000. Palm Sunday marks the day that the Bible says Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowds the week before Christian believe he rose from the dead. Francis spoke of the events on the last two days of Jesus' life - his betrayal by Judas, his arrest, beating, trial and crucifixion - and asked his listeners to think hard about who they resembled more, those who helped Jesus or those who condemned him, betrayed him or were indifferent to his fate. "Where is my heart? Who among these people am I like? This question will remain with us all week," he said.

ALSO: Pope poses for selfies after Palm Sunday homily

Around the world, Christians are marking Palm Sunday with waving fronds, processions and prayer. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were strewn before him, before his crucifixion. At the Vatican, Pope Francis ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he hopped off his popemobile to pose for "selfies" with young people in the crowd. In Jerusalem, worshippers prayed at Deir El Sultan in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Here's a gallery of Associated Press images showing celebrations marking Palm Sunday around the world.


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From Aguinaldo to Basilan, soldiers to cheer for Pacman

MANILA, APRIL 14, 2014 (PHILSTAR) The military will go all out to cheer on Army reservist Manny Pacquiao when he meets Timothy Bradley in their rematch today in La Vegas.

Pacquiao’s bout would be aired live down south at an Army jungle base in Basilan, the scene of day-long fierce fighting between government security forces and the Abu Sayyaf militants on Friday.

Lt. Col. John Paolo Perez, commanding officer of Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion, said bringing the bout live to the troops in the jungles of Basilan will give them an opportunity to see their idol fight Bradley.

“Yes, we will also have our own pay per view here in my hut at our headquarters in Unkaya Pukan,” said Perez, who lost two of his men in last Friday’s fighting.

With the fighting against the Abu Sayyaf already over, Perez expects the entire province of Basilan to be peaceful, even just for today, as most if not all the people, including the Abu Sayyaf, are avid fans of Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, who holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, has the full backing of his mother unit, the Philippine Army, which declared yesterday its unwavering support for the quest to dethrone Bradley as World Boxing Organization welterweight champion.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said Pacquiao has the total support of the 80,000-strong Army.

Detoyato said key Army camps around the country will be airing the fight live, with three venues for today’s event already set up inside the main Army headquarters at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.

“The Pacquiao-Bradley fight will be aired live at Army’s Non-Commissioned Officers’ Clubhouse, the Officers’ Club House and at the Army hospital,” Detoyato said.

Detoyato, however, stressed the troops who are in the field and are currently doing operations will have to continue their missions.

“Only the soldiers inside camp can watch the fight live, while those who are involved in security operations can monitor it through a transistor radio,” Detoyato said.

At Camp Aguinaldo, the main headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a giant screen was set up at the military’s parade grounds fronting the grandstand where viewers can see for free the Pacquiao-Bradley bout.

The fight will be also aired live at the AFP gymnasium and theater.

“We expect that today, just like in the previous fights of Manny Pacquiao, a unifying force among us Filipinos, it will be peaceful around the country,” said AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala.

Congress predicts Pacquiao win

Colleagues of boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao are confident that he would win convincingly over

Deputy Speaker and Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla said Pacquiao is blessed with all the necessary assets to defeat Bradley.

“Manny has the guts, confidence, ring intelligence, stamina, speed, punching prowess, and aggressiveness to overcome Bradley. These assets are also backed up by rigid training and a well-thought rematch strategy,” he said.

Padilla said once again, the House of Representatives and the entire nation would be cheering for Pacquiao in his quest for another victory.

“No less than Manny himself has confirmed that he still has the killer instinct and is unafraid to use his power and go for a knockout. Let’s all pray for his safety and victory,” he added. – Jess Diaz

‘Watch boxing match, but don’t miss mass’ By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 13, 2014 - 12:00am 6 81 googleplus1 0

MANILA, Philippines - The faithful can watch today’s boxing match but they should also attend Mass on Palm Sunday.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said he does not see the bout between Manny Pacquiao and American Timothy Bradley Jr. as a reason for Catholics to miss out on their religious obligation.

“There are many mass schedules during Sundays,” Villegas said.

Pacquaio’s fights usually last from late morning until early or mid-afternoon, thus there is enough time to hear Mass in the evening, he said.

“I think the good Catholics would not choose watching the boxing match on television over attending mass, especially now that it is Holy Week,” Villegas said.

Fr. Genaro Diwa of the Archdiocese of Manila said today’s Palm Sunday observance is a holy day of obligation because it also marks the start of the Holy Week.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz also said Sunday is Mass day “with or without the palms.”

As Filipino Catholics start the observance of Holy Week, Villegas reminded the faithful to offer sacrifices for the poor.

“The point of fasting is you say no so that you can say yes to the needs of the poor,” he said.

“The Holy Week is holy not because of sacrifices, because of your pain, but the Holy Week is holy because God puts so much love…and no one has loved in the same way that Jesus loved.”

Villegas cited as an example that if a person decides to fast, he should make sure that the food he would abstain from could be given to a hungry poor person.

“So if you would not eat meat, protein and fat, make sure that these kinds of food would be given to someone who, because of poverty, has not been able to buy meat for the whole year.”

FROM MANILA BULLETIN

How often do we deny Christ? by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD April 13, 2014


palaspas,PALM SUNDAY RITUAL – A woman fashions the ‘palapas’ from coconut fronds, in preparation for the Palm Sunday rites today. Catholics traditionally carry the ‘palaspas’ in the Palm Sunday mass to be blessed by the priest, and then those are brought home and placed on the front door or windows, as a sign that the residents are Catholics. Others put the blessed fronds in their personal altars. The ‘palaspas’ symbolizes the palm branches that were waved by the crowd to welcome Jesus Christ as he enters Jerusalem. (MARK BALMORES)

Today, Palm Sunday, ushers in the celebration of Holy Week.

It is called “Mahal na Araw,” literally “costly” day, because God saved us at a very costly price. His Son, Jesus Christ, suffered ignominiously, died, and resurrected in order to redeem us. St. John Chrysostom says, “Redemption was completed by God during these days.

Holy Week begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. Peter and the apostles were euphoric as they basked in the royal welcome accorded their Master amidst shouts of “Hosannah, Son of David!” But shortly afterwards, when Jesus was dragged from one court to another, helpless and pathetic, Peter who had declared at the Last Supper that he would never abandon Him, denied Him thrice and all the others, except John, fled in disgrace.

How often do we deny and abandon Christ in the way we live. Government officials, who enrich themselves through scams and briberies, do it. So does a husband who cheats on his wife and vice versa.

Then there’s the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas. Judas’ tragic treachery stemmed from the expectation that Christ would become the political Messiah and, being a materialistic man, he realized how much wealth he could amass under his leadership. But when he found that Jesus would be just the opposite – a “Suffering Servant” – he betrayed him for 30 sordid pieces of silver.

Don’t we have a streak of Judas in us at times? When a friend is successful, we lionize him; but the moment he is down and broke, we drop him like a hot potato. “Success is relative,” somebody quipped. “The more successful you are, the more relatives you have.”

As with Judas, isn’t money the root of conflicts, betrayals and vengeance?

The elders, chief priests, and scribes – the ruling class – who manipulated the people so that a few days before they had shouted “Hosannah,” but on Good Friday turned out shouting “Crucify him, crucify him!”

Don’t we have such people among politicians and charlatans who deceive the masses by making empty promises; who talk big but are short on deeds?

Instead of being passive spectators of the great drama of Christ’s Passion, the greater challenge is to be active participants of the paschal events – the suffering, death, and resurrection – of Jesus Christ.

All of us have our own Calvary, our passion and death. But like Christ, we too will know and feel the beauty, the joy of the Resurrection, if we but suffer and die with Him.

FROM ABS-CBN

Tired pope presides at Palm Sunday services By Philip Pullella, Reuters Posted at 04/13/2014 7:29 PM | Updated as of 04/13/2014 7:29 PM



Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY -- A tired and somber-looking Pope Francis led a Palm Sunday service before more than 100,000 people, opening two packed weeks of activities including Easter and the canonisation of two popes.

The faithful waved palm and olive branches as the 77-year-old Argentine pope, whose pontificate is 13 months old, rode into the square on a white jeep and stopped at the center of the square to bless palm and olive branches.

The pontiff, wearing red vestments, appeared fatigued at the start of the ceremony and was particularly solemn when he delivered an impromptu homily, putting aside the one he had prepared.

He looked tired and subdued through most of the service but later perked up and seemed energized as he greeted young people holding palm branches, and was driven around the square so more people in the crowd could see him. The Vatican estimated the crowd at more than 100,000.

Palm Sunday marks the day that the Bible says Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowds the week before Christian believe he rose from the dead.

Francis spoke of the events on the last two days of Jesus' life - his betrayal by Judas, his arrest, beating, trial and crucifixion - and asked his listeners to think hard about who they resembled more, those who helped Jesus or those who condemned him, betrayed him or were indifferent to his fate.

"Where is my heart? Who among these people am I like? This question will remain with us all week," he said.

On Holy Thursday, Francis will preside at two services, including one where he will wash and kiss the feet of elderly people in a nursing home to commemorate Jesus' gesture of humility to his apostle on the night before he died.

For the second straight year, Francis, whose has said the Roman Catholic Church must be closer to the poor and suffering, is holding the event outside one of Rome's basilicas.

Last year he scandalized conservatives by holding it at a youth jail, where he washed and kissed the feet of women and Moslems inmates.

At Sunday's service he walked with a pastoral cross carved from olive wood by the inmates of an another Italian jail.

On Good Friday and Holy Saturday he is due to preside at three services leading up the Easter Sunday, when he delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing and message.

The pope would normally rest for most of the week after Easter but this year Rome will be full of visitors flocking to the Italian capital from around the world to see him declare two of his predecessors saints.

On Sunday, April 27, he canonizes Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernized the Church.

At the end of the Palm Sunday service, young people from Brazil handed over a large wooden cross that was used in the World Day of Youth last July in Rio de Janeiro to those from Poland, where the next one will be held in 2016.

FROM CBC CANADA

Pope poses for selfies after Palm Sunday homily The Associated Press Posted:Apr 13, 2014 9:05 AM ET Last Updated:Apr 13, 2014 9:45 AM ET

Palm Sunday Mass opens Holy Week for the Roman Catholic Church


Pope Francis poses for pictures with faithful at the end of a Palm Sunday service in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, on Sunday. Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

FROM CHRON.COM

Around the world, Christians are marking Palm Sunday with waving fronds, processions and prayer.

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were strewn before him, before his crucifixion.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he hopped off his popemobile to pose for "selfies" with young people in the crowd.

In Jerusalem, worshippers prayed at Deir El Sultan in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.

Here's a gallery of Associated Press images showing celebrations marking Palm Sunday around the world.

___

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