“God is love and He has defeated evil.”—Pope Francis
Happy Easter to one and all! Easter spells out the rare beauty of new life and the ultimate time of hope and renewal. Paired with the freshness of springtime, the Easter season is one of my favorite times of the year.
“We proclaim the resurrection of Christ, when his light illuminates the dark moments of our existence.” Pope Francis shared this insight for all to understand the infinite love of God. As we join in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice, we renew our faith that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man, with His perfect love and forgiveness.
God the Father sent his Son to the world out of his love for us, which bloomed into something wonderful: It transformed malevolence into works of redemptive love. To God our Father, each man is worth all the blood shed by Jesus Christ!
After an entire year of Bible study and spiritual reflection, I have gravitated closer to the Word of the Lord. Although not as enlightened as my diving buddy and spiritual guide Gigi Santos, I have been awakened by the infinite goodness of the Lord. I have even gained helpful verses from the Bible. My current favorite is: “Let everything you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).
I have learned to put my full trust in the Lord instead of dwelling on my perceived lack of love. I chose to believe in God’s honest intentions, no matter where the journey first takes me. Fortunately, sin is not the last word; the last word is God’s mercy. Easter is the adequate time to understand the life that was meant for us. On the cross, Christ opens His arms wide to all of us—nobody is excluded.
This is the master’s last lesson at the cross: mercy and forgiveness, the fruits of love. But forgiving is so difficult for us! Nevertheless, by experiencing in our own lives the saving and forgiving love of Jesus, it will not be so difficult for us to look at others with tenderness: a tenderness that forgives with love and absolves without hostility. He reveals His love through His all-encompassing mercy and forgiveness.
Quality time with loved ones
The beauty of our relationship with God is, while we can confidently ask Him for the things we want, He often gives us what we truly need. Jesus came to save us from something that has an eternal effect on us—our sins. He came to save the world and give us eternal life through His sacrifice. Jesus is also able to save us from the different areas of our lives where we are struggling, where we are hopeless and helpless, where we have reservations and limitations.
Before I mislead all into thinking I have been “evangelized,” I have to credit my new pastor friend Fiona Jonie de Mesa for sharing her Holy Week devotional that I have reflected on while I am here in Australia with my family.
While rooted in Christianity, Easter is virtually synonymous with pretty pastels, beautiful blooms and, of course, chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies. It reminds me most, though, of spending quality time with the ones closest and dearest to me.
This week, we were fortunate enough to visit the University of Melbourne, one of the universities that my daughter Athena is considering for her next step in her educational journey. We also visited my nephew Ben Romualdez, who is currently enrolled in this beautiful campus.
As I am in Australia, I was so sad to miss the Usana Philippines big event after the pandemic. Congratulations on their 13th anniversary in the country and 30th global anniversary!
The event recognized all the associates and distributors for their achievements. They introduced their new stress-relief mood support supplements, Procalm, made with saffron, lemon balm and ashwagandha; and Calm Response essential oil balm made of ylang-ylang, ho wood, bergamot, patchouli and lavender.
The segment was complemented with a relaxing gong bath with sound healer Rosan Cruz to release stress and promote positive feelings.
Usana also announced its partnership with the Philippine Basketball Association as the official nutritional supplements of the PBA.
Usana Foundation president Brian Paul graced the occasion. He lauded the efforts of the Philippines to roll out the Garden Towers Initiative, which is part of their worldwide philanthropic effort to help fight food insecurity and eradicate world hunger.
Also present in the event was Usana brand ambassador, motivational speaker and business guru Francis J. Kong, who shared wisdom on business, life and our current state.
After two years of no live events, Usana Philippines drew a crowd of 5,000 to the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City to mark its 13th year in the Philippines with the battle cry, “Be better and go further.” Usana is the No. 1 vitamins and dietary supplements brand in the Philippines.
As the celebrated French author Victor Hugo wrote, “The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.”
Hugo said that even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. With Easter truly showing the light at the end of a tunnel full of confusion, hopelessness and abandonment, all we need to do is put everything in its proper balance and harmony, and trust in the Higher Powers that all will be well.
Although Hugo obtained a law degree, he was much more interested in writing. Encouraged by his mother to follow his passion, Hugo grew to become one of the most important cultural figures of his time, and continues to be one in the modern world. His writings showcase emotion, love, beauty and his deep humanitarian beliefs.
Speaking of law, I’d like to congratulate the new attorneys who have successfully battled the challenges of the pandemic times and the trials of the bar exam.
I am especially proud of the kids of my family and friends—Fernando Felix Laurel Imperial, Alexandra Chelsea Lopez Antonio, Regina Isabel Reyes Ongsiako and Katrina Isabelle Gamboa Pimentel.
Let me end with an insightful quote from Hugo: “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.” INQ