05 April 2012


Walang sinuman ang nabubuhay
Para sa sarili lamang
Walang sinuman ang namamatay
Para sa sarili lamang

(Translation: No one lives for himself only, no one dies for himself only)

Palm Sunday I participated in a Passion Play put on by several of the Filipino congregations in Hong Kong. It was not only the Passion of Christ, but also the Passion of the Filipino Migrant Workers.

Father Dwight asked if I would lead the opening prayer (in Tagalog!), and after practicing all afternoon I managed to read it without tripping up too much. I could follow along with the scripture readings, but after the reading someone from the Filipino community would come forward and speak about the hardships facing migrant workers.

Having the Passion of Our Lord juxtaposed with the stories of Migrant Workers really hit me. Like Christ, the migrant workers serve others for the sake of others. Their work largely goes unnoticed, and their thankless jobs only seem to bring more hardships.

I was particularly struck by the betrayal. Christ was betrayed by one of his own disciples, a friend, a countryman. Someone he trusted and shared his life with. Migrant workers are betrayed by their own countrymen--by agencies that take advantage of them, corrupt governments, and people they thought they could trust. The impact such betrayals have on their lives and their families is heartbreaking and you wonder how such a level of betrayal could exist in the world.

As we walked from one station to another, we sang a song, Pananagutan. Roughly translated, it means "accountability" or "responsibility".


Tayong lahat ay may pananagutan sa isa't-isa
Tayong lahat ay tinipon ng Diyos
Na kapiling N'ya

(We all have responsibilities to each other
we are all God's saved,
asking to come together)

Sa ating pagmamahalan
At paglilingkod kanino man
Tayo ay nagdadala ng balita ng kaligtasan

(Through our love and service
To everyone, we are
Bringing news of salvation)

As we enter into the Triduum and reflect on the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, let us remember those among us who are persecuted. As we celebrate the Risen Lord on Easter morning, let us not forget what the Good News means for us, for our brothers and sisters.

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