Bringing the spirit of Holy Week into the hearts and homes of the Filipino Catholic faithful, was
Jesuit Music Ministry’s (JMM) virtual Lenten concert “Loving and Forgiving”, aired last March 28, Palm Sunday evening.
Streamed live via the Jesuit Communications (JesCom) and Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM social media pages, an online audience of more than 8,000- garnering 155,000 views to date- relished the touching experience of God’s unconditional and boundless love, through the uplifting music of Himig Heswita.
In his opening remarks, JesCom Executive Director Fr. Nono Alfonso SJ explained how love becomes a “conscious effort of both mind and heart”, as he turned to the example of Christ’s passion and ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
“Before being persecuted, scourged and crucified, Jesus was already hurting, already betrayed. And yet, He lovingly, willingly died for us on the cross. There we witness the depth of God’s love- endless, unfathomable, mercy and compassion. That remains the challenge for us, to love like our Lord.”
Following soulful opening numbers “Memorare” with pianist Fr. Arnel Aquino SJ and flutist Jay Gomez, and “I beg to fall in love with Thee, my Lord” featuring Marlon Fabros SJ, Richard Sumera SJ shared his family’s heartwarming story of self-giving and acceptance.
“In every day and every hour, God continues to bless us, love us. Even if we try to stay away or choose to hide, He is always there. His heart is always open,” he reminded, while meditating on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
After Himig Heswita’s inspiring performances of “Pintig ng Puso”, “Pag-ibig Ko” and “Huwag Limutin”, Jeffrey Pocong SJ offered his reflection on why many Filipinos remain loving and forgiving- even in the face of poverty and troubling times.
“We continue to be hopeful that there will still be good things to come. Amidst all the sufferings we face every now and then, we just have to remain peaceful through the love and forgiveness that our Lord teaches us.”
Fr. Ro Atilano SJ, Jaclay Schalliven SJ together with Daven Manubag SJ, and Veepee Pinpin, then led the choir with their outstanding renditions of “Saan Kami Tutungo”, “Out of Roads” and “O Hesus, Hilumin mo” respectively.
Meanwhile Bok Arandia SJ, recounted his memories of teacher Nanay Lilia and Jesus’ encounter of the Samaritan woman, to illustrate the redeeming and transformative power of God’s love and forgiveness.
“Those who experienced God’s love and forgiveness were not just restored. They were completely transformed and made new by His grace. We thus pray that God’s love and forgiveness truly fill our hearts, change and transform us, move us to respond and inspire us to offer all we have.”
Himig Heswita continued its inspired singing, with Fr. Nemy Que SJ and Fr. Junjun Borres SJ at the forefront of “Loving and Forgiving” and “My Son has Gone Away”. Leading the way for “Nauna na Kitang Mahalin” and “Love Never Fails” were the stirring vocals of Rey Malipot and Jasper Martir.
As Fr. Borres imparted the final blessing, Himig Heswita sang once more in perfect unison for “Aba, Ginoong Maria”– concluding a heartfelt evening of prayer and song at the Church of the Gesu.
Relive the music of “Loving and Forgiving” on the JesCom TV YouTube page via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y83zwBnkdY
Catch the concert’s premiere on TV Maria this April 3, Black Saturday, 8pm.