POSTSCRIPT / April 9, 2009 / Thursday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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If only the Press Office could have another Jocap

SI JOCAP!: Rescuers found yesterday in Tinoc, Ifugao, the wreckage of the backup presidential helicopter that crashed Tuesday while flying in foul weather from Baguio to Lagawe to prepare for a visit there today (cancelled) of President Gloria Arroyo.

Among the eight persons on board was media’s good friend Press Undersecretary Jose Capadocia. As I write this, only three burned bodies had been found in the rain-soaked crash area.

Jocap is one of my remaining links with the Malacanang Press Office. A true professional, he understands, and appreciates, the mission of private media reporting on state affairs and public officials. Although on opposite sides of the fence, we are always in touch and ready to help each other.

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MAUNDY THOUGHTS: As a Lenten shroud descends on Christendom, we share below Biblical reflections on the Last Supper by Fr. Thomas Rosica, chief executive of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada and a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

These notes of Fr. Rosica captioned “The Bare Facts and Bare Feet of the Last Supper” were culled from http://www.zenit.org:

“BOTH the Jewish and Christian traditions view eating and feasting as more than simply an opportunity to refuel the body, enjoy certain delicacies, or celebrate a particular occasion.

“Eating and feasting became for both traditions, encounters with transcendent realities and even union with the divine. In the New Testament, so much of Jesus’ own ministry took place during meals at table. Some say that you can eat your way through the Gospels with Jesus!

“Jesus attends many meals throughout the four Gospels: with Levi and his business colleagues, with Simon the Pharisee, with Lazarus and his sisters in Bethany, with Zacchaeus and the crowd in Jericho, with outcasts and centurions, with crowds on Galilean hillsides, and with disciples in their homes.

“It is ultimately during the final meal that Jesus leaves us with his most precious gift in the Eucharist. The Scripture readings for Holy Thursday root us deeply in our Jewish past: celebrating the Passover with the Jewish people, receiving from St. Paul that which was handed on to him, namely the Eucharistic banquet, and looking at Jesus squarely in the face as he kneels before us to wash our feet in humble service. Instead of presenting to us one of the synoptic Gospel stories of the ‘institution’ of the Eucharist, the Church offers us the disturbing posture of the Master kneeling before his friends to wash their feet in a gesture of humility and service.

“Just imagine the scene! As Jesus wraps a towel around his waist, takes a pitcher of water, stoops down and begins washing the feet of his disciples, he teaches his friends that liberation and new life are won not in presiding over multitudes from royal thrones nor by the quantity of bloody sacrifices offered on temple altars but by walking with the lowly and poor and serving them as a foot washer along the journey.

“On this holy night of ‘institution,’ as Jesus drank from the cup of his blood and stooped to wash feet, a new and dynamic, common bond was created with his disciples and with us. It is as though the whole history of salvation ends tonight just as it begins — with bare feet and the voice of God speaking to us through his own flesh and blood: ‘As I have done for you, so you must also do.’ The washing of the feet is integral to the Last Supper. It is John’s way of saying to Christ’s followers throughout the ages: ‘You must remember his sacrifice in the Mass, but you must also remember his admonition to go out and serve the world.’

“At the Last Supper, Jesus teaches us that true authority in the Church comes from being a servant, from laying down our lives for our friends. His life is a feast for the poor and for sinners. It must be the same for those who receive the Lord’s body and blood. We become what we receive in this meal and we imitate Jesus in his saving works, his healing words, and his gestures of humble service. From the Eucharist must flow a certain style of communitarian life, a genuine care for our neighbors, and for strangers.

“Finally, the celebration of the Eucharist always projects us forward just as we profess the memorial acclamation after the consecration at Mass: When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.’

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POWER RATE HIKE: Reacting to our last Postscript on power rates, reader Napoleon G. Co cited a letter he had sent to the Energy Regulatory Commission questioning its approval of new increases in National Power Corp. generation charges to be passed on to consumers.

He compared the latest rate increase to middle-2008 figures:

1. Price of coal then was down from a high of over $200 per ton (which Napocor bought at near $230) to below $100. The papers reported that Napocor awarded contracts for coal supply at $80+ per ton CNF, a very substantial reduction.

2. Price of crude oil is also down from the then high of over $140 to the current $50.

3. Prices of steel and other metals are also down very substantially.

By the way, the distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will just collect and not retain the newly approved 54-centavo per-kwh increase in rates. It will pass it back to Napocor as generation charge adjustment.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of April 9, 2009)

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