Issue of February 10, 2019
     
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Lakay Dangatan, a child

On the Feast of Sto. Niño on Jan. 20, Lakay Dangatan became a child of God at the age of 90.

It was 8 p.m. and I was tired after the Sunday masses; but somebody had been knocking at my heart for a special request, a visit to the sick. As I was exhausted, I planned to postpone. I proposed to the group to have the request the following day but the voice kept on calling louder. Through the insistence of Maa’m Elma Lawagey, we dropped by Barangay Antadao, Sagada to visit Lakay Dangatan.

It was a holy Sunday evening because the sick old man was filled with the spirit, as evidenced by his energetic and jovial speech.

Lakay Dangatan was smiling over his pain. He forced himself to sit and converse with the group. His smile was a proof of warm welcome and a proof of his longing for our presence.

He conversed with us for a longer time and he enjoyed our presence. We sung joyfully a birthday song after the rite of baptism.

On the Feast of Sto. Niño, Lakay Dangatan happily received the Sacrament of Baptism on his sick bed. He is so far the oldest person whom I conferred baptism in my 17 years as a priest. Nothing is late in Jesus. For true enough, “Unless we become like children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

Lakay Dangatan with his matured age became a child of God. The one little candle lighted signified Jesus penetrating his heart. The Holy Water poured on his head signified the cleansing of his soul from the inherited sin and the oil of chrism is anointing as a child of God. Lakay Dangatan is an old man in the eyes of the people but he is a little child in the eyes of God.

In God’s perfect time, nobody is late and nobody must be deprived of this grace. We will hear Jesus telling us again, “Let the children come to me.” We are God’s children even with our matured age because we are childlike. But certainly not childish.

I leave three assignments for you to do this week. Find meaning as you do them: Remember the day of your baptism. If you cannot recall, then go an extra mile, look for your baptismal certificate; remember your godparents and the minister of baptism and thank them; and look at your family and your neighbors if there are members not yet baptized then approach the church for their baptism. Let us not be obstacles for the children to go close to Jesus. Let us be instruments to bring them close to Him.

The wonders of childhood days are the simple life, the honest words, and the humble relationships. If we feel nostalgic today, it is because we were once a child. Let us be childlike even with our growing age. Reach me at Marcsongs123@gmail.com or 0905-1653-669.

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