As Christendom celebrates Christ’s resurrection today (April 21), Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has reminded Filipinos of their power to help the entire nation rise over sufferings like how the Lord has risen from the dead by choosing worthy leaders in the upcoming midterm elections in May.
In her Easter message, De Lima said the occasion should remind her countrymen to embody the teachings of Christ to help achieve their collective aspirations of bringing positive change in the country.
“Sa pagdiriwang ng Linggo ng Pagkabuhay, ginugunita po natin ang kaluwalhatian ng buhay ng Panginoong Hesukristo bilang tao-ang Kanyang pagbangon mula sa kamatayan bilang pagpapatotoo sa salita ng Diyos,” she said.
“And as we observe Easter season, we also celebrate the triumph of our salvation history and our faith in the Risen Lord. With renewed hope and spirits, we commit ourselves to follow the teachings of the Lord and to do what is right and just for others,” she added.
De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said she hopes that Christ’s death and resurrection would inspire people to save the nation from abusive leaders by voting for individuals who value common good over selfish interests.
“[S]a bawat pagsubok at desisyon na ating pinagdadaanan at haharapin pa, lagi sana nating balikan ang diwa ng sagradong okasyong ito.
“Sa sangandaan kung saan may pagkakataon tayong piliin ang mga pinunong gagabay sa ating tatahaking landas, iluklok po natin ang mga uunahin ang kapwa bago ang sarili, ang magtatanggol sa ating mga karapatan, may pagpapahalaga sa buhay at dignidad, higit sa lahat, hindi nanakawin sa atin ang isang maunlad at makatarungang bukas,” she said.
A celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his crucifixion, Easter marks the end of the Holy Week or end of Lent. His resurrection also marks the triumph of good over evil.
In looking for figures to emulate, to do what is best for the country, De Lima said the Filipinos should look no further than Christ himself.
“Bilang guro at pinunong gumabay sa Kanyang mga disipulo, ipinakita Niya ang halaga ng pagiging tapat sa salita at ng pagpapakumbaba. Ipinaramdam Niya ang kalinga at pagmamahal sa maralita at mas nangangailangan,” said De Lima.
“Sa kabila ng mga paratang sa kasalanang hindi Niya ginawa, ng mga paninira at kasinungalingan para dungisan ang Kanyang pangalan, ng tukso ng demonyo at matinding kalbaryo, buong loob pa ring isinabuhay ni Hesukristo ang kalooban ng Diyos at inalay ang buhay para iligtas tayo mula sa kasalanan,” she added.
A devout Catholic, De Lima observed the Holy Week by devoting more time for solitude and prayers inside her detention quarters in the Philippine National Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City where she remains unjustly detained. She will attend a Mass today to celebrate Easter, to be officiated by Fr. Robert Reyes, Fr. Albert Alejo and Fr. Flavie Villanueva, and with the presence of her family members, relatives, and close friends.