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A Character of Humble Piety

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Que Sera Sera

As I was reflecting on the readings and auntie Ely’s life, I was drawn to the very song that she was fond of singing. In fact, even in her last moments, she would glow up whenever family members and relatives would come and sing this song to her. The song is entitled, Que Será, Será.” The song perfectly fits auntie Ely’s character - a person who prepares for the future without getting stuck to it. The songwriters describe a typical life journey of a person who is curious and constantly yearning to know what lies ahead. The chorus would repeatedly answer the verses with these lyrics:

"Que será, será

Whatever will be, will be

The future's not ours to see

Que será, será

What will be, will be"

This song reminds me of two fond memories with auntie Ely:

Memory #1: Vocation Intervention. Auntie Ely was known as a “pusher.” Not as a drug-pusher (Though she could be, given her profession. But she was a pusher for therapeutic but not narcotic drugs to cure illnesses and not to destroy lives). I’ve learned from uncle Dodoy’s eulogy last night that it was Auntie Ely who pushed him to take Architecture. It was a good “push” because to this day uncle Dodoy has reaped and enjoyed the fruits of his profession.

Well, I too, had my share of auntie Ely’s persistent push and intervention. In the early 2000’s when I left the seminary to take on a teaching profession at Miriam College High School, I would come home to Kalibo during vacation times. Each time we would see each other on several family gatherings, she would repeatedly tell me as if convincing me: “Giopre, kasayud ka baea nga hasta makaron nagapati gihapon ako nga magapari ka.” “Giopre, I still believe that one day you will become a priest.” She would say those words to me untiringly and persistently whenever she got the chance to do so. She was like God’s mouthpiece telling me to stop “goofing around” and just give my “yes” to God! In 2009, I was ordained as a priest. She came to attend my ordination together with some of our family members and relatives. It was providential to her also as she was finally given a Tourist VISA to go to the US. In our private moments together after the ordination, she told me: “Hay nano sinakon, di baea magapari ka gid?” “What did I tell you? You are really meant to become a priest!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gave His very reassuring messages of comfort and consolation. He said: “Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.” Implicitly, He is telling His disciples that following and serving Him could be transformed into a period of rest. There is comfort in serving God; there is comfort in being God’s messenger.

We know of people, who are spiritually disposed and because of such disposition they are able to find comfort even in times of suffering and pain (auntie Ely included). They are well-disposed simply because they find comfort in their spiritual relationship with God. At times they tell me, “Father, I feel at peace with myself each time I exercise my spiritual practices/devotions,” “Father, I find meaning to everything that I do. Though I’m old, I am confident that I am doing something good for my community, and much more to God.” I believe that this is what Jesus meant about giving us rest. Our wholehearted service to our family and to the Church will give us our most deserved “rest.” It will give us comfort and it will lead us to peace. And so, be someone who could be a messenger of the word, a “pusher” of the message to other people. It is interesting to know how auntie Ely has touched the lives of her family and people around her. I am for certain that deep within her is the Spirit at work in her very life.


a-character-of-humble-piety
a-character-of-humble-piety
a-character-of-humble-piety

Memory #2: Humble Piety/Religiosity. During auntie Ely’s visit to the US to attend my ordination, I had her stay at Tita Ofie’s place together with mama. Tita Ofie is a very pious parishioner of Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont, CA where I did my pastoral year and was ordained a Deacon there on March 15, 2009. She would go to the Adoration Chapel every day after attending daily Masses. At one time, Auntie Ely gave this funny remark to Tita Ofie coming from Church: “Ofie, sobra sobra na ang dalangin at pagiging relihiyosa mo. Alam mo pag namatay ka, lalagpas na kaluluwa mo sa langit!” “Ofie, you’re too pious! You know when you die, your soul will go beyond the heavens!” Well, I can’t personally vouch for Auntie Ely’s piety/religiosity since I seldom hear her talk about her faith experiences. But one thing is for sure, she has lived her life like a “walking Bible.” The cheerfulness, the joy, and her smiles are testimonies to how much she has loved the gift of life God has bestowed upon her.

Jesus, in the Gospel asks us to give up our burden and to carry His yoke instead: “For His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.” Is Christ’s yoke an added burden to our own personal yoke? Of course not! What He’s telling us, is that, we have to give up our own “yoke,” our useless burdens, which at times, are inessential to the path that Christ is leading us. Christ asks us to give up those “useless yokes” in favor of the yoke that He asks us to carry through the nourishment we get from the Sacraments, which lead us to peace, and more importantly to the Father.

And so, to all of us who are left behind, especially the family of auntie Ely: nong Ramil, nang Eileen and nong Renan, this could be a great burden to carry. But as Christ assures us of His unceasing love to unburden us through His yoke, let it be a reminder that you are not alone. Christ will continue to live among us and will be with us for always.

"Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be"

Que será, será

Whenever we feel like missing auntie Ely so much, play this song. Imagine as if she’s singing this song to remind us of our fond memories with her. She is in a better place now. She is with uncle Monet and with her Divine Creator.

Pahueay eon auntie Ely ag pangamuyuan mo kami sa eangit. Ginahigugma ka gid namon it mayad. Saeamat sa pagiging “ikaw” bilang among pinalangga. Rest in peace auntie Ely and pray for us in heaven. We love you so dearly. Thank you for being the person that you are to us.

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