LENTEN RECOLLECTION 2021
March 31, 2021
Forgiveness, Restitution and Restoration –
The Lord’s Flock’s 3-Day Lenten Recollection
By: Sis. Jane Boholano
While residents of NCR and much of Greater Manila Area were gripped with fear and unrest with the steady increase of COVID cases, it was a huge comfort to know that we had the opportunities for enriching our devotional and spiritual lives online during the Lenten season. The Lord’s Flock Community’s traditional 3-day Lenten Recollection went virtual, allowing us members and guests alike, all of differing time zones, to reflect together on the passion of Jesus Christ on the cross in the safety of our own homes.
On the first day of the Recollection, Bishop Teodoro Bacani gave a discourse on Forgiveness, emphasizing Jesus’ command to be merciful as the Father is merciful (Lk. 6:27-36), to love one’s enemies and pray for those who persecute us, and to forgive seventy times seven times. It may seem unfair, unreasonable and sometimes, downright impossible; forgiving goes exactly against human nature, the law of retaliation as written in the Old Testament. But Jesus Christ set the perfect example of forgiving the unforgivable. Likewise, Sis Lulu Perele, a retired CPA and a full-time speaker for the Lord’s Flock, proved this point by recounting how she found the grace to forgive her cousin for murdering her mother in cold blood.
The following day’s discussion on Restitution discussed how being merely sorry for our offenses is not enough; we must make up for the damages done. The act of restitution – restoring something lost or stolen to its proper owner – is crucial in repentance, as explained by Sis Techie Rodriguez, founder, Elder and vision-holder of the Lord’s Flock. Zacchaeus yearned to see Jesus so much so that he was willing to do the degrading act of climbing a sycamore tree. He went down the tree a changed man; he promised to pay back fourfold all the people that he had cheated and to give to the poor as well.
As an example, Bro Dinky related his testimony of restitution and conversion, one that saved his very own family from destruction brought about by his infidelity. The pleadings of his very young eldest daughter led him and his wife, Sis Te, to seek reconciliation. They then joined the Lord’s Flock Community where Bro Dinky was able to make up for all his mistakes/iniquities and their family was made whole again.
The last of the series was filled with hope emanating from God’s amazing power of restoration. Sis. Techie took Peter as the perfect model of restoration; he was the brash disciple, always on the forefront, who didn’t seem to give thought to what he said or did, oftentimes leading to his downfall. Above all his failures, Peter may have probably been most devastated about his denial of Jesus, that was after vouching that he would lay down his life for his Master. But Jesus, who is in the business of restoring the repentant sinner entrusted the flock to Peter. Jesus’ perfect love restored Peter’s brokenness.
Following Sis. Techie’s talk, Fr. Jerry Orbos inspired people to rise above the gloom of this season of pandemic – which he likened to a prolonged Lent – by focusing on the Lord, not on the loads of riches, worries, work, self-worth, or worldly wisdom.
Several sharers also recounted how the Lord restored what Satan had stolen from their lives: Bro. Gerard Parayno on how the Lord rescued him from self-destruction; Bro. Joey and Sis Joy Molina, on how Jesus healed their family and restored their finances beyond imagining; and, Sis. Maan Almendrala, on how she found her faith restored after a devastating and traumatic event made her lose it.
Reflecting on Jesus’ passion and death on the cross awakens the soul from stupor brought on by the pandemic, gives hope and courage to face fears anew, and redirects the heart to a higher calling and a greater purpose.
To God be the Glory!