I shall always be grateful that my life has been rich, full and truly blessed. I have come to realize that my joys and happiness do not come from the material things and possessions that I have. For I can do without so many of these things. As I have advanced in years, I have cut down and done away with many of the luxuries and gratifications I used to indulge in the past. But I cannot imagine my life without the relationships that have defined me and made me the person that I am today.
Last night, we had a family dinner at a barbeque place, Jonathan’s favorite. I think what we paid for was not the food we ate but the joy I felt watching Jonathan and Jane eating with gusto the grilled meats prepared by the best griller in the world – their Lolo. These two angels have come into my life in just the last decade. And all the previous decades in my life make sense because of them and all hose years were actually just leading up to this happy decade with them.
In my life, there have been many people and relations along the way. And they have all made the journey a happy and meaningful one. Anabelle and I are touched by all the people reaching out to us and wishing us good journey as we go back to the Philippines in preparation for Macky’s and Lani’s wedding. We are excited as our family and relations expand with the union of our two families – the Brillantes and the Quiazon. We are eager to see family and friends back home where it all started and with whom we have shared and built lives together for almost six decades.
As I do my morning prayers, I touch and feel the continuing Presence that has been the constant relationship all these years. When Ima was a young mother and I was a new-born babe, He was there sharing the joy of Ima and Tatang. Growing up in Pampanga and in the seminary, He was there holding my hands as I lost myself in the games that I played and in the endless daydreams I indulged in. As I was trying to find and define myself as a teen-ager, He was there through my anxieties and insecurities. Through the tumultuous years of young adulthood, trying to live out my idealism; He was there in every rally and meeting all the struggling that I went through. As I started our own family with Anabelle and struggled to build a career, I felt His guiding presence. Seeing our sons grow and blossom into their own persons; making friends some lasting a lifetime, others for a reason, still others for just one season; making good at careers and being recognized for excellent work; working with like-minded people and making this world a better place to live in. It was all about relationships and how these all tie together in the one relationship that bound us all together – that there is one God we call “Our Father”.
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”