Death and Life
"There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am." (John 14: 2-3 TEV).
I found myself reading that verse to my 8-year old son Adi last Sunday. My sister-in-law Nicole passed away last Saturday after years of battling cancer and I thought reading that verse will explain things better to a child.
We enjoin all readers and visitors to viloria.com to say a prayer for the soul of Nicole and for the family. Although God seems to have answered our prayers for full healing in another way, we can be sure she is in a much better place, free from any pain or disease. It was uncanny but last Sunday's Gospel was about the "persistent widow" and the judge who eventually ruled in the widow's favor due to her persistence. Any reflection on that Gospel is sure to talk about how we should persist in prayer even if we seem to be getting nowhere. Bishop Ongtioco, in his homily that day, posed the question: "Does God listen to all our prayers?" If something contrary to what we asked for happens, does that mean God did not hear us?
The truth is, the Bishop explains, God listens to all our prayers and He answers in a way that is best for us. His answer may be "Yes," "No," or "Later." I think the more appropriate question is: "Do we listen to God's answers?"
Bishop Ongtioco then says that prayer is not really meant to change God but to change the person who does the praying.
Speaking of prayers, Sunday night, we asked Adi to lead for our bedtime prayers. I reminded him to say a special prayer for Tita Nicole. He went on to pray his standard prayer: "Day by day. Oh Dear Lord, three things I pray..." and then he continued: "Dear God..." He paused and when I prodded him to go on, he quietly answered: "I'm still thinking..." After awhile, he continues: "Dear God, please give my Tita Nicole a good room in heaven..."
[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, October 19, 2004]
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