July 19, 2024

Matthew 2:1-12 narrates the birth of Jesus, the fulfillment of the prophecies and the fulfillment of God’s promise.
The gospel also narrates the Epiphany – the manifestation of God’s glory through Jesus Christ attested by the angels, shepherds, and the Magi.
The Epiphany is a beautiful story of God revealing his glory on a silent and holy night in Bethlehem. Angels declared through a song, the first ever Christmas carol, “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace to people of goodwill.”
The shepherds heard the Christmas carol and went to search until they were led to baby Jesus. The star guided the three Magi from the east to the baby and offered their gifts.
The Epiphany narrates that it is only through Jesus that the perfect revelation of God’s glory happened. It happened only through the begotten Son.
Let us be on guard therefore against false teachings claiming that they are the anointed son of God. Let us be vigilant.
I quote the Ordo 2021, “True wisdom is to seek, find, recognize, and adore God’s real presence in the signs and events of our times.”
I share the beautiful Christmas story of Willy and Kadpay of Antadao, Sagada, Mountain Province. Their story reveals the glory of God in the new Christian couple and to their family.
Kadpay was lost due to complicated life. She lived with a man but without the sacrament of matrimony until they were challenged by difficult attitudes that led them to part ways. She went astray so from the rural life in Sagada, she went to the city.
In the city, she found a responsible man who took care of her until she was able to get back to her senses and recognize her value.
They went home to Sagada, lived together and happily cherished the relationship that gave them four beautiful children.
In the midst of the pandemic, the couple started to long for Jesus.
Kadpay had a deep prayer at home seeing her children who were deprived of spiritual gifts. She was in tears while praying and observing herself and her family without the blessings of the sacrament.
She started to seek help from her neighbors and God gave them Elma Lawagey and some companions to assist them.
They went to the Kilong rectory for advice. They then decided to receive the sacrament of matrimony which I willingly carried out.
Pre-cana sessions, catechesis, and interrogation were done thoroughly.
They did not see the spiritual preparations as requirements but as a healthy and constructive part of their family.
During the sacrament of reconciliation, Kadpay cried because of her joy being healed and reconciled with herself and with the Lord.
Willy was baptized and confirmed before receiving the sacrament of marriage while Kadpay received the sacrament of reconciliation and confirmation.
The sacrament of marriage took place at their home because Barangay Antadao is deprived of a church.
The marriage was God’s way to confirm His love to the couple. Kadpay and Willy were filled with love as shown by the support of the community. Kadpay and Willy were officially declared a Christian couple. Social distancing prevented the couple for the traditional “kiss the bride.”
Their children were also baptized to making them a Christian family. It was a happy celebration of family, faith, and mission.
The family is true to their promise, the previous masses at Mount Carmel Church was not missed by the family and they are happy.
From their house to the main road was quite a walk. From Antadao waiting shed to Mount Carmel Church is quite a mile but they exert effort to attend the Holy Mass.
It took them years to respond to God’s invitation but for God, this time is His time and what matters most is the positive response to His invitation.
I am sharing the story to help couples who did not yet present their relationship to God and the families who did not yet present their children to God to become his children too. It is a good story to begin the year for families and couples.
Kadpay allowed her story to be written and be read for people to find hope and strength in Jesus.
Determination will end well and dialogue will bring solutions. St. Joseph Church in Kilong is just a text or a call away.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0908-727-6735.