By Nov. John Paolo Romero
Lawaan, the Philippines, 19 June 2016 -- The ‘For Christ Novices' of the Don Bosco Sacred Heart Novitiate, with the special participation of the Don Bosco Youth Center-Lawaan, staged an academy in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Entitled “Bulong” or in English, “The word in the ear,” or simply “whisper,” it was staged last 17 June.
The academy highlighted the immensity of God’s mercy and forgiveness to those who desire it, in keeping with the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. Various Salesian communities in Cebu, likewise, young people from the different Salesian houses, benefactors, religious and seminarians came to watch the production.
The plot of the play revolved around the two thieves in the crucifixion scene. Most often, the words of repentance of Dimas, the repentant thief who was crucified with Jesus, are known to everyone. But no one knew about Gestas, the other thief who shouted at Jesus, “If you are the Messiah, save Yourself, and us!”
This story revolved around the fictional side story of Gestas – what happened before he became a thief and before he finally died on the Cross on Good Friday. The death of his loved ones one after the other pushed him, with the whisper of the devil, to live a wicked life. These unfortunate events in his life led him to question God, to be angry to God; and in order to revenge, which he was sure he can’t do to God, he was stealing and doing crimes against his neighbors.
He was angry at God until the time they were on the cross. But when the centurion pierced the side of Jesus, he saw the blood and water flowed out from His Heart; then he heard the Precious Heart of Jesus whispering to his own heart. This encounter led him to his last minute conversion singing the Act of Contrition.
Fr. Mel Racelis, SDB, the Rector of Don Bosco Formation Center-Lawaan, gave the traditional good night talk. He said that the word “Bulong” in Ilongo means ‘medicine.” With this, he challenged everyone to really listen to the bulong of Jesus’ Sacred Heart, and let Him heal our own hearts.