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The Last Mass of Zacarias

(in memoriam Fr. Zacarias Agatep)

 

Fr. Amado L. Picardal

 

 In a roofless and wall‑less cathedral

 you celebrated the ultimate sacrifice.

 The fields, the hills and forests

 have become your boundless altar.

 

    The host, your bullet‑pierced body.

    The wine, your warm and crimson blood.

 

 The Lord has always been with you

 and you have always been with him.

 

 You met him in their farms and villages.

 You ate with him in their nipa huts.

 You listened to him as they shared

 their agony and grief,  their vision and dreams.

 

 You became one with him  as you struggled with them

 to build a new reality

 where there will be no more dictators

    who will terrorize our nation

 where there will be no more imperialists

    from the west who will control our destiny, 

 where the riches of the earth  will be shared by all 

 and the Kingdom of justice, peace and freedom

 becomes a reality.

 

 You finally sealed your covenant with him

 when you offered your life for them

 the ultimate sacrament of your love.

 

 Go in peace, father and brother Zacarias

 your mass has finally ended

 but ours will go on.

 We will continue to love and serve the Lord

 in the least of our brethren:  the poor and oppressed,

 to make ourselves true and living sacrifice

 of bread and wine

 our own body and blood

 in the memory of the risen Lord

 and in your memory.