July 16, 2024

There is no perfect family but we can strive to make our family holy.
Christmas is the birthday of Jesus and the fulfillment of prophesies and the promise of God. Let us see the little Jesus and his own family. Surely, our gaze to the Holy Family of Jesus will inspire and motivate us to do something to our families for consecration and holiness.
During the 2020 Advent and Christmas season, the Sagada Basic Ecclesial Communities responded to Jesus’ invitation and command, “Let the children come to me.” Parents came to the office to arrange the baptism of their children. Surprisingly, they brought not just the child to be baptized but the whole family for the sacraments of cleansing and healing.
The sacrament of baptism, first holy communion (Eucharist), and confirmation were the beautiful scenes during Advent and Christmas in the different BECs of Sagada. It was a happy and moving scene to see parents with their children during the catechisms and the celebration of the sacraments in different chapels.
On the Feast of the Holy Family, one parent stood and shared her joy to the congregation after her children were baptized. She said she is saddened by the fact that her children could not be baptized because of differences in religion. Her husband belongs to another sect and she is a Roman Catholic.
“Sometimes we disagree to the point that my children are deprived of their religious and spiritual rights. But thank God for the gift of patience and understanding, I was able to convince my husband to have our children baptized. I am crying today not because I was able to convince my husband but because God heard my cry and God works in many happy surprises. I am very happy. I thank the church for accompanying me, and as well my mother who supported me in my desire for my children.”
As an old dictum says, “If there’s a will there’s a way.”
The sacraments are the best Christmas gift we can give to our children and to the young people. We must not take them for granted. Values start at home. If these values are founded on Jesus through the sacraments, they will surely be the strength of the children when they are grown-ups. The future of young people depends on the values at home that turned to virtues.
We learn from the Book of Sirach 3: 2-7. The book provides the values that should thrive at home. If these values are observed daily at home, they are not mere values but they become virtues. Virtues will not end in vain. It will always bear a lot of fruit.
Praying at home gives birth to values and praying always is a virtue.
We strive to make our families holy, first, through the sacraments of baptism and marriage. We strive to make our families holy through prayers turned virtues and music.
Words and music: Fr. Marcs Castañeda
There is joy when I see you around. O so much joy when all is around. It’s such a great day for you and for me, a moment to share the beauty of life.
Chorus: So wonderful is our family where we dwell as one. O so great is the love in us where we lean and dream. It’s all because we pause and recognize Jesus is with us. He is with you. He is with me. He is with us in our big family. That is why there is love, a reason that will bring us back to a home where we feel so much at home.
There is joy when I am back home again. O so much joy when you hug me and smile. It’s such a great day for you and for me a moment to thank for the goodness of God.
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