April 1-9, 2012, I spend my holy week in the far villages of Maubessi. The parish priest assigned me in two villages named Manelobas and Mau-Lau. I celebrated the holy week with the village people. My experiences was very fruitful and faith inspiring. I have to travel two hours from the main parish with worse roads to reach the villages. High Mountain, cold weather and no electricity but yet no worries because I found it good. Close to nature is closer to God. Seeing the people waited for hours for a priest to celebrate the mass, amazes me. Learning that they walked for many miles to reach the chapel, inspires me. Standing still in the entire Eucharistic celebration (since no chapel chairs) despite the cold breeze wind and tiredness, convicts me. It moved my heart witnessing their great faith to God. Faith made them to go beyond. Having cold breeze weather? They still came out from their houses. No cars to ride to go the chapel? They walk miles. The Priest came very late because he celebrated another mass in the other far village. They patiently waited. The chapel is small to accommodate everybody. They had faith to accommodate a big God. Their faith is their expression of their love for God.
These village people had shown more faith than those who were living in the big cities. They do not need cars, they do not mind if its cold outside. They do not bother if the chapel is too far. They just have Faith. This is the most essential and precious they could carry to God in the Eucharistic celebration. I witness their faith and felt the fire of love in their hearts. They value God most, so they done everything just to be with Him in the Eucharistic celebration. They love God, so they did not let anything hinder them going to Him in the Eucharistic celebration. My holy week was indeed an experience of holiness and faith through the people I ministered in Manelobas and Mau-Lau. They inspired me more than I did. Their faith touched my heart. Their love for God moved my heart. I am thankful to the people from the village of Manelobas and Mau-Lau, because during the celebrating of the Resurrection Sunday, I felt resurrected with Jesus and experienced new life in my holy week ministry. *** (Alan Bondoc)