TAYTAY, Rizal, APRIL 12, 2011?The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) of St. John the Baptist Parish staged their annual Lenten Station of the Cross in a new form as a way of battling the culture of death espoused by the controversial RH Bill now pending in Congress.
Dubbed as â€œKrus ng Buhay,â€ the fourteen Stations correspond to specific moral values as the Christian response to issues confronting the people as individuals, as a family, as a nation and as a Church, both in religious and secular perspective.
At 3 p.m.on April 8, BECâ€™s from four barrios and sitios simultaneously started the yearly traditional activity from first to tenth Stations and converged at the townâ€™s Kalayaan Park for the eleventh Station.
The group proceeded up to the fourteenth station marching along the main road while silently carrying placards that voiced out concerns on morality, human dignity and sanctity of life, family and marriage.
Devotees carried two significant imagesâ€”Our Lady of Guadalupe and a big wooden cross.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Philippines and the unborn children. She was venerated in the eleventh station as the â€œMother of Life who cares for us from womb to tomb.â€
The big wooden cross in the fourteenth station was made more profound when around 800 penitents formed a huge â€œhuman crossâ€ as they â€œprofessed their baptismal vow as missionary Catholics, and that Christ died to give us Life.â€
Readings were modified according to the context of concrete reality of our daily life. The prayerful response in the first Station, for example, was â€œsharing oneself to others as expression of Eucharistic love.â€ The twelfth Station reiterated â€œlife as Godâ€™s gift that no man or government must rip asunder.â€ The thirteenth called to â€œchoose Life, reject the RH Bill.â€
Parish priest Msgr. Peter CaÃ±onero joined the â€œhuman crossâ€ in front of the main entrance of the church, while blessing and sprinkling the people with holy water. The activity concluded with the regular 6:00 p.m. celebration of the holy mass.
The BECs of St. John the Baptist have taken to heart the worldwide call of Pope Benedict XVI for the protection of the sanctity of life. On November 27, 2010, the eve of Advent season, the parishioners held a rosary-prayer vigil â€œto invoke divine protection on every human being called into existence, and to thank God for the gift of life we received from our parents.â€
Since then, the parish BECs had campaigned for rosary-vigil with intention of protecting the unborn.
Looking forward to forming a â€˜giant living Rosaryâ€™ in October, the BEC leaders said, â€œmay this Lenten â€˜Human Crossâ€™ be the crucifix of what we still have to labor?to form the â€˜giant living Rosaryâ€™ beads which we envision as our spiritual weapon against the culture of death that is RH Bill, this October month of the Holy Rosary.â€ (Rufo Fernandez)