In my Father’s House

05-07-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

My father’s house is my home. I and my three brothers grew up in that house and did our part to make that house our home. The table of our house nourishes us daily: Mom prepares the food, while I and the two elder siblings take turns setting the table, washing the dishes after a meal, and cleaning the floors of the dining and the kitchen. In my father’s house, we each have responsibilities, cleaning inside; and taking care of the lawn and garden outside.

Our house is a modest Filipino home in a subdivision outside the city with four (4) rooms: the master bedroom for my parents, a bedroom I share with my younger brother, and a bedroom each for my two elder brothers. The first three (3) siblings are a year apart, and the youngest brother is three years my junior. Dad and Mom transformed our house into a home by caring for our physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment.

In my father’s house, I grew up aware of the values; important to my parents. Education was a priority for them. We all finished our Elementary and High School education at a Catholic institution (Divine Word University of Tacloban DWUT) run by the SVD Fathers. For our college education, they sent us to universities in fields of study of our choice to get a bachelor’s degree: the least. And they supported those who proceeded to take graduate studies.

Religion, an important value in our HOUSE - In my father’s house, we prayed the rosary followed by the Angelus every night. We go to Mass on Sundays as a family at our parish church, no questions asked. The only reason one could stay home is if he were really sick. We lived in a Catholic country, province, and town, and a Catholic home. So, we did all the Catholic traditions of my country, like, attending Masses on the Day of the Lord and Holy days of obligations, joining the processions and novenas, and celebrating the yearly parish fiestas: Our Patroness, Our Lady of Lourdes on the 11th of February. All these family traditions and cultures were seeds that formed and nourished my vocation to the Priesthood.

Respect for Elders: I addressed my older brothers with a title of respect (Kuya): the oldest is Kuya Butch (Edward), and before me is Kuya Tantan (Jonathan). While my younger brother Jason calls me Kuya Bing, and my older sibling the same way I address them.

Respecting and Honoring our Parents were considered a guarantee for our success and blessed life. While disrespecting or dishonoring them would result in a son struggling through; a life of misery and unhappiness.

All these memories of my father’s home help me to understand the message of Jesus about the HOUSE of the Father. I picture our rooms in our home when Jesus says: In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places.” And proceeds to assure His disciples: I will go, and prepare a place for you. So that where I am, you also will be. The words of Jesus reminded me of how my parents; prepared a place for me and my brothers - that we all call a home. - How they thought of us, probably even before we were born. And how much love they invested in a home for us. And all these are not even close to fathom the depth of God’s love for me; and all of us. What a difference; if Jesus just gave us direction to get to where He is. But like Thomas, we would probably say: Lord, we do not know the way. And to the many of us like Thomas, His response is: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is going to prepare a place for us, and He Himself will show us the way. He Himself is the way to the Father’s house.