The image of the Holy Father, walking alone, issuing the “urbi et orbi” blessing two weeks ago, hit home for Bishop Alex Aclan. “The plaza behind him that is usually filled with people completely empty; rain pouring down copiously like tears from heaven — a fitting image of how a lot of us are feeling at the moment. Alone. Isolated. Dejected.”
Like priests around the world, Bishop Aclan is preparing to celebrate the holiest days in the Church’s liturgical calendar, but this year, these celebrations will take place in empty churches. “We are navigating terrain that is foreign to us,” said the Filipino-born prelate, who serves in the Archdiocese’s San Fernando Pastoral Region.
But Aclan takes comfort in the fact that “Jesus can relate with how we are feeling. “In this time of separation, segregation, remoteness, and loneliness, we can keep our eyes focused on the crucified Jesus, and unite our experiences with his.”