A Palm Sunday Prayer

a former student of mine
dreams, parents’ hopes shattered by drugs
now grounded,
the release from mental anguish
no one knows

a colleague’s mother
bedridden for quite some time now
and a classmate who has been burdened
by health problem for years now

the residents of L’Arche Rizal
convivial the last time i visited them

the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda
still cramped in tents and makeshift houses
with what little medicine or sustenance
they have for a sense of comfort

ordinary citizens of Zamboanga
crisscrossed in the war
between a belligerent Islamic group
and the government army,
their subhuman lives in tents
becoming their new normal

metropolis residents
in their growing sense of terror
for the escalating crime
of thievery becoming commonplace
now done in broad daylight

Lord,
give courage and strength
to those who cannot come to churches today
to welcome You,
so that they can wave
the palm of their infirmities
wherever they are – in the silence of their anguish,
in the urgency of their needs,
in their aspirations for systems that humanize,
in their hunger for You. Amen.

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