Note: This article was first pubished on Rappler.com on March 29, 2013.
MANILA, Philippines – Installed in the open garden of the upscale Bonifacio High Street in Taguig is the Walkways, an interactive exhibit depicting scenes of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
It is different from the traditional Stations of the Cross my family used to pray in observance of Holy Week.
Pilgrims can read and reflect on contemporary messages inspired by biblical passages and historical accounts on the passion of Jesus.
“We try to make (the stations) relevant to the times now. They speak about the issue that we are going through now. We believe that what the Bible is saying is timeless. It should apply to any era and generation,” according to Patrick Filart of Church Simplified, organizer of the exhibit.
In the station meditating on the trial of Jesus by the Jewish court Sanhedrin, pilgrims are asked to “vote” for the traits they would like to see in themselves and in the future leaders of the country using a ballot.
Imparting the message of protecting creation, the station where Jesus was scourged and crowned with thorns featured a petition for a greener community.
The station wherein Pontius Pilate judged Jesus asked for donations for poor school children. It suggested that donors could rewrite the story of the children who could not afford school just as what Pilate could have done if he did not wash his hands – save Jesus from crucifixion.
Examination of conscience
Most stations encouraged examination of conscience through meditative and physical activities.
In the first station, pilgrims can join Jesus pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and share with him their greatest fears, believing that whatever happens God will never forsake them.
A station also asked to pray for a stranger by picking a prayer from a bowl written by other pilgrims. It was inspired by the two Simons – Simon of Cyrene and Simon Peter – who helped Jesus carry his cross on his way to Calvary and perform his ministry, respectively.
The seventh was the most challenging as it involved carrying a cross while thinking about what Jesus went through carrying it. There were two crosses – one was the usual crucifix, and the other, which I chose to carry, was a long, heavy one made of wood.
The station where Jesus entrusted Mary to John brought me to tears as I read its message of telling other family members how much they mean to me. Like Mary, who looked after Jesus as he grew up, so did our families.
Finding God again
“Nariyan ka na sa posisyon mo ngayon kasi mahal ka ng Mama, Papa, at ng mga kapatid mo. Your success is their success, and also God’s success,” my aunt told me as I sobbed. (You are where you are now because of the love of your Mama, Papa and siblings)
As a final exercise, I wrote a note of gratitude for everyone who has been an important part of my life when I reached the last station which narrated the resurrection of Jesus.
Walking through the spiritual sanctuary in the middle of stores, I found God again, realizing that I should live my life for Him and for others. – Rappler.com
(Walkways runs until Easter Sunday, March 31 at Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City)