Holy Week 2021 is more meaningful because our Christian institutions have already adjusted to online pandemic realities, and retreats have become more impactful in the safety of our homes. Pre-pandemic, you had to choose just one retreat because of scheduling conflicts, but now you can join more than one synchronously or asynchronously.
Here are my reflections on the most awesome retreat, ABWOON Jesus in Prayer by Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB…
About Abwoon Jesus in Prayer
Thank you for all the online retreats this Holy Week, and we all get to experience them live or on replay.
For me, the most awesome Holy Week Retreat for 2021 distinction goes to:
Jesus in Prayer ABWOON (Holy Week Retreat 2021) by Fr. Armand Robleza
🔴 Module 1: Intimacy Beckons (1 April 2021, Maundy Thursday)
🔴 Module 2: Steadfast Surrender (1 April 2021, Maundy Thursday)
🔴 Module 3: Forgiveness Restores (2 April 2021, Good Friday)
🔴 Module 4: The Risk of Hope (2 April 2021 Good Friday)
The other best retreats in Manila include:
• Letting Good, Letting Evil, Letting God by Fr. Johnny Go of Pins of Light
• The Feast TV Holy Week Retreat by Bro. Bo Sanchez and the Feast Community
• BCBP Lenten Recollection by Fr. Herb Schneider
I appreciate online retreats that transform you through Holy Spirit-led insights and content delivered meaningfully through the online platform. There are some online retreats that are too “commercialized”, or focused more on the preacher rather than Jesus. While some, which are already boring offline, become even more boring online.
You have to watch the modules first, and toward the end there are 10 insights and reflections from which you can choose 3 that resonate with you and that you can address in your life. Will share with you my top 3 per module.
4. Pray over your resentments. I always say “ayokong maalala” aloud to myself every time I dwell on my personal resentments and disappointments. From now on, I offer these to You Lord and pray that not my will but Yours be done.
1. Schedule your prayer. Lord, sorry for the struggle to bring all the kids for Rosary at night and the on/off family prayer schedule. Thank you for giving us the inspiration to do it after lunch when the family is complete and to offer the thanksgiving prayer with the family as dessert to complete our meal.
10. Join the common worship. Thank you for the blessing of being part of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) Alabang community before the pandemic. The community provided us with spiritual support to serve You in the Brotherhood Christian Life Program and be able to participate in meaningful worship especially during these times.
It was chilling to hear the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic and reflect on its original context throughout the Holy Week retreat. This was a brilliant concept that tied all the modules together with an epilogue wrap-up in the end.
Because of this, we watched the Passion of Christ by Mel Gibson in Aramaic and Latin with the kids, and we cried starting from the scourging at the pillar. The Sorrowful Mystery is now more meaningful when we pray it.
6. Risk on the side of love. It’s hard to surrender with faith to the Lord, and this is a gradual process that you grow into. There are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties in a post-Covid world. Lord, teach me to risk on the side of love, to surrender and to let Your will be done.
3. Be humble with a dose of healthy self-doubt. Sorry for the times that we believe in ourselves without acknowledging You as the source of our wisdom and power. Sorry for allowing pride to rule us during the good times, and for going back to You only during the bad times like this pandemic. Please help us navigate through this pandemic with Your love and protection for our family.
2. Lay bare your desires to God in prayer. Dear Lord, I am so happy and grateful to You that I am now financially free from any debt and have established my digital ministry for You, our awesome God! Thank you for an awesome life with the family and for using our family so that other people may also live an awesome life.
We always look forward to Fr. Armand’s homilies (because they are always insightful, tagos-sa-puso) and the funny stories of Lolo Incong and the apos about life. There’s no boring moment when you listen to Fr. A.
6. Remember the times you have been forgiven. COUNT THEM. Sorry for the times I’m immediately irritated by negative comments, nagging words and malicious hirit. Thank you for always forgiving me for my past mistakes and showing me how to forgive and to be more patient with others.
9. You are wounded, but healing can happen. MOVE ON. Sorry for the times I’m not able to forgive our friends who hurt us. I pray that we will be able to heal the hurt, completely forgive and reconcile with our kumpare (and sige na nga pati si kumare). Ang hirap, Lord, but thank you for healing us.
5. You realized some life lessons, albeit the painful way. KEEP THEM. Yes, thank you Lord for this message and for the inspiration to write my first book about my life lessons in order to help other first-time entrepreneurs in their own journey.
Fr. Armand only has one favor or request for us: to pray for priests. Let’s pray together:
We pray Lord for our awesome priests to be steadfast in their commitment to be faithful to the community and to not be tempted to be faithful to one person alone. We also pray that You continue to fuel their passion for unwavering service to the Christian community and never get tired or burned out serving their ministry.
9. Drink from your sources of strength. Lord, thank you for the moment of silence during this quarantine season and for allowing us to identify and hone our strengths during the pandemic. Please continue to fill our cup with our strengths so that we may drink from it as we navigate through the post Covid-19 world.
7. You have to give up something. Face it as Christ’s challenge. Sorry for always falling for temptations and finding it hard to let go of addictions and vices. Please give us the strength to give up all the bad influences that lead us into moments of sin and to face this as Your personal challenge for us, Lord.
3. Turn disappointments into opportunities for grace. There are many times that we experience disappointments and get discouraged, sometimes falling into depression instead of offering this up to You Lord. We pray for Your grace to discern these and know how to turn our disappointments into opportunities and to let us see the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.
Binge-watch the online retreat this weekend in sequence to appreciate the epic epilogue wrap-up in the end. Thank you Fr. Armand for the Holy Spirit-inspired online retreat! Maraming salamat. 🙏🙏🙏
Live an Awesome Life with Christ,
Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Thanks to Nikkei Team for the experience. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Thank you for reading this reflection until the end. If this helped you in any way, please support Fr. Armand’s Your Kids My Kids Foundation that feeds poor children as its advocacy.