By Sarah Puno
IN our homes the New Year is welcomed bountifully, with food for long life, for more sticky and sweet loving relationships, with lots of fruits for a prosperous year. And salad too is a common food shared on the table to be able to create harmony in the family in whatever taste of life may come. These we share with prayer for God’s graces and blessings and with thanksgiving.
Families have their own stories to share how they spent the New Year. Some are happy but some are sorrowful. But it inspires me to share a real salad of life experience of two families that opened my eyes that sharing love should not be stingy for too much love will not kill you because in reality there is no too much love. Human is always short of God’s command for love. If love will be given generously, miracles will happen, impossible will be made possible, hurts will be healed and tears will turn to laughter.
A young seminarian lost his biological father before New Year because of a vehicular accident. Though he was brought up by an adoptive family he still felt so much for his biological parents even they have already their own separate lives so much so for his seven siblings who are staying in different places with relatives.He only knows their names but haven’t seen them yet in person. Thanks to the cellphone and facebook that he was able to meet two of his siblings before this happened, one in an International Youth Conference and the other one through his adoptive father who accompanied him to the place where his younger sister is staying. Through their information plus all the efforts through the facebook and of course through his prayers all the scattered siblings had a tearful but joyful reunion after sixteen years during the burial of their father.
My aunt at ninety two gathered her eleven children and wife of her late eldest son and thirty five grandchildren and great grandchildren this New Year for her last goodbye. The testimony of the children of her unconditional love, teachings by example of sharing, respect and generosity of giving love was so inspiring and moving for emulation. The strong must help those who are weak, those who have more must help those who have less, those who are down must be lifted up. And above all, all must pray for one another. The praying of the Angelus and the Holy Rosary are not forgotten in all their individual homes.They all thank their mother and grandmother for her living example that they are what they are now because of her. This prayerful mother who unselfishly served the church as a catechist also inspired her professional children and grandchildren to serve the church in different ways. Some are leaders of church organizations, lectors, writers and editor of church bulletin, choir leaders, choir members, instrumentalists, lay ministers and other ministries.They are also guiding the young ones to be like them.
My reflection on what I have personally witnessed in these two families led me to recall my own experience of having an opportunity in my distant past to spend Christmas until New Year in the ancestral home of my great grandmother in Villareal, a pilgrim house where people were always praying in front of a miraculous crucifix and the kitchen was always busy making cookies to be served to pilgrims. This house produced priests, nuns, lay ministers and faith community leaders.
This year opened my eyes that life is all about love, love of God and our fellowmen. May our love lead us always as a family to worship our God in prayer and in everything we do so as to create a fertile ground for more loving workers in the vineyard of God . May the Lord this year, the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons pour upon our families blessings of vocations to help bring all families to God’s glory.