Priest to lay: Palms reminder of needed conversion

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TACLOBAN City, March 29, 2015 — Fr. Erwin Kim Miro, a teacher at the Archdiocese-run Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, Leyte, said the faithful should mark Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week, by having a genuine change of heart.

“Display the palms in your homes as a reminder of our need to have a complete change of heart being faithful to God and steadfast in our faith,” the young cleric said in his homily.

Sacred Heart Seminary teacher Fr. Erwin Kim Miro calls for churgoers' "metanoia" or complete change of heart during the Palm Sunday celebration, March 29, 2015. (Photo: Ei Ballesteros)

This palm, he said, is a symbol of Christ’s truimph and the fulfilment of God’s promise of salvation to humanity.

Conversion through confession

“The Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday is a call for conversion,” he added, stressing that through this significant liturgical celebration people are called to focus on the Christ’s suffering.

In achieving such conversion, one has to avail of the Sacrament of Confession, according to Miro.

In confession, he added, the faithful experience God’s mercy and compassion, as Pope Francis recently emphasized.

He said that in confessing to priests, the people are reconciled with God and thus, transformed in heart and mind.

The second reading for Palm Sunday spoke of Christ the Savior’s submission to God’s grand redemptive plan for humanity.

Confession schedules

Annually, Sto. Niño Church churchgoers in Tacloban usually mill around the communion rails or the foot of the sanctuary even before communion ends to ensure that their palm fonds and branches will be blessed.

Others would try to have their palms blessed with holy water just before the next Mass or at the sacristy, which is not allowed.

From Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday all churches in the Archdiocese of Palo will welcome parishioners who would want to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). There will be no more confession on Holy Thursday.

In Sto. Niño Parish, under the stewardship Fr. Ronel Taboso and co-pastor Fr. Wilson Chu, all parish vicars will make themselves available for confession until April 4 in the evening while the Lenten reflection is on-going. This will happen as well in other parishes in the Archdiocese of Palo, led by Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News)

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