When I became a Mission Volunteer for the Youth Section, I also decided to become more serious in embracing the call that comes with the name of our community, Missionary Families of Christ. I wanted to be remembered by my parents and siblings every day that I have been a good son and brother to them – this was also the dream of my first household servant in our MV family .
During the midnight of September 3, 2021, my mother was rushed to the hospital as she had been sick for five days already. In her findings, it was ruled out that she had pneumonia and her lungs were not okay based on the x-ray result. I have searched that Covid-19 might be the possible cause of her pneumonia. That time, hospitals could no longer admit patients as they were already at their full capacity. The number of people infected by Covid-19 also kept increasing as well as the number of deaths. Even on my Facebook feed, most of the posts I was seeing were about the loss of a loved one. I used to not be afraid with Covid-19, but not this time. I was so afraid that I could not sleep because I’m not yet ready to lose anyone in my life, especially my parents.
That time, my only prayer was “Lord, make my mother live more years, and keep my father healthy.” I still wanted to make them realize every day that they have raised good sons, because they are also good parents to us. A lot of times, I fail to become a good son especially in moments when I am tired and too busy with a lot of things. I still fail to be obedient, to be sensitive with what they need, to be a responsible son, and to show them respect especially at times when I thought that I was right and they were wrong.
The next day, it was confirmed that my mother tested positive for Covid-19. The burden and guilt that I felt got heavier knowing that I could not give more time to help in taking care of her as we are also about to have our MFC Youth Laguna Area Core Retreat on that same day, and that my small business would need to stop for a while as we have our home-quarantine. I was in pain and I worried so much, but I praised God for that retreat as He has used it to re-align my heart to His purpose.
I realized that I’ll only feel tired and worried if I rely solely on my own capacity and forget that we always have the Lord with us. After the retreat, the burden got lighter. I started to shift my focus from what I cannot do to what I can do. I learned how to cook and got interested in it. I was able to overcome my selfishness and became more responsible with the household chores. These things served as an opportunity for me to show more of my love to my parents and siblings. Our family started to look after the needs of one another before our own. Fortunately, we all started to recover and get to recognize that this suffering was a gift. All it brought us was to learn to love and care more for one another and recognize that God is really in control of everything.
As we were in quarantine, the Lord also had led me to listen to a homily of Archbishop Socrates Villegas posted on YouTube and I learned that maybe the reason why the Lord let us experience struggles and keep us in our pain and sufferings is because we haven’t learned our lessons yet. And the only way to learn it is to consistently come to the Lord in prayer and be silent for us to hear those lessons.
In what I have experienced, I realized that whatever pain and suffering we might have, remember that the Lord is always faithful to His promises to us. Hold on to Him and allow Him to surprise you. He is greater than anything!
Neil Galang is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.