Lenten feature to explore suffering

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QUEZON City, April 15, 2014—What is suffering? Why does God — with His love — allow it to exist? And why do bad things happen to good people? These are but some of the existential issues which a TV special will discuss this Maundy Thursday.

Called “Kalbaryo: Saan patungo ang iyong pagdurusa?” after the hill where Jesus was crucified, the two-hour program will feature Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio Cardinal Tagle and people who have “endured and triumphed over pain and suffering.”

Produced by the Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc., the show will air on April 19, Maundy Thursday, on ABS-CBN Channel 2 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Kalbaryo” draws inspiration from Pope Francis who said, “To suffer is to take the difficulty and to carry it with strength, so that the difficulty does not drag us down. To carry it with strength: this is a Christian virtue.”

Shedding light on the great mystery of the human condition and how it profoundly affects the lives of believers and non-believers alike, the show will feature Editha Burgos, the mother of “disappeared” activist Jonas Burgos; cancer patient Carolina Reyes, who will talk about how her “world crumbled overnight” when she found about her disease, and Pedro Lacandoso, who lost more than twenty members of his family to typhoon ‘Yolanda.’

According to Reyes, what brought more pain was how people dear to her had to grapple with an uncertain future every day.

Like Job of Uz, the righteous man in the Old Testament, there are still those who seem fated to go through untold hardship. Job loses his physical health, his wealth, his children, and the respect of his community, but despite these, he refuses to bow down to the wishes of his “comforters” to curse God.

In his distress, Job said, ”My lips certainly will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue mutter deceit. Far be it from me that I should declare you (the three friends) right; till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go. My heart does not reproach any of my days (Job 27:4-6).” (Raymond A. Sebastián)


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