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A Pre-Christmas Revelation

Last November 15, our upper household in Couples for Christ Metro Manila South A sector, composed mostly of seniors, went to Bahay ni Maria in Calamba, Laguna, a home for the elderly (females) with special needs who have been abandoned by their own families. 


The facility is run by the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima. The visit was hatched through the initiative of Maria Pilar Topacio of MM South A. During one of our household prayer meetings, she mentioned Bahay ni Maria and that it would be a good idea to visit and give the residents basic supplies. The enthusiasm and interest of the whole household was so high that we were able to raise funds immediately to provide the basic needs of the “lolas”. We all chipped in and bought the provisions the sisters running the place requested, like sacks of rice, canned goods, kitchen supplies, underpads, and toiletries, plus food for the occasion— puto, pansit, and fried chicken.


I thought all along that we would be the ones to bring the Christmas spirit to the residents of Bahay ni Maria. However, it was the other way around, at least for me. The whole experience— from the welcome the residents showed, their smiles, the candid moments, the songs and dances, and the joy we shared - warmed my heart and reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas— GIVING.


Interacting with the elderly made me realize a few things. First, I realized that we should show our parents how much we love them now, when they are still with us, so that they will remember that love, even when their minds grow dim. Taking care of them, seeing to their needs, and simply being with them, are expressions of the love we need to give them. Second, we must be generous and share what we have. Even a small portion of our blessings, when shared 

with those in need, means a lot to them. 

In our interaction with them, it was painful to listen to the lolas’stories— how they had been abandoned by their families, and how traumatic the abandonment was for some of them. However, it was also heartwarming to see how our short visit brought a glimmer of hope to them. Some of us were teary-eyed when the lolas greeted and treated us as if we were their long-lost relatives. 


Indeed, this visit has opened our eyes to the profound value of sharing our time and resources, which we may have taken for granted in the past. The joy of giving, especially to the poor and those in need, truly enables us, as Pope Francis says, “to understand the deepest truth of the gospel”. (Joey Tomas and Jess Marasigan)

Added on Monday, January 15, 2018


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