BEING Holy Week, please allow us to share with you today in our column, “THE VISITS”, which is the story of a very devout woman who goes to church daily, taken from our book, My Brother-in-Law and Other Stories:
Although in her late 40s, Tinay remained unmarried. She lived alone in her big house across the plaza from the church with a maid. A farm left by her parents comfortably provided for her livelihood.
She heard mass daily and was in church also most of the time even in the afternoons to pray, and led a quiet and uneventful life. But one day when she was praying before the crucified Jesus, she heard him speak to her.
“Lord, is it You talking to me?” Tinay asked with some hint of fear in her voice.
“Yes, my child, it is Me,” a voice came from the cross above. “You have been very faithful and I would like to visit you at your home the day after tomorrow,” the Lord continued.
Tinay was so excited to hear what the Lord said but did not tell anyone about it. She could not almost believe of the Lord Himself speaking to her.
When she reached home she lost no time to prepare for the great visit…With her maid, she immediately undertook a general clean-up of the house.
As if a fiesta was coming, they waxed the floor, dusted and wiped the furniture and put up a new set of curtains for the doors and windows.
She prepared good and very special food that morning of the visit and set it up on the table, ready to be served.
“We have a very important visitor coming,” she told the maid.
Tinay dressed her very best that day. She was out early in the sala and sat on the sofa to wait. She told the maid that she did not want to be disturbed because a very important visitor was coming. She started to pray.
Just then her overseer in the farm came. He wanted to borrow money for the tuition of his daughter who was taking a summer course.
“I’m sorry Arsing but I have a very important visitor coming this morning,” she told her tenant. “Will you come back next day so we can talk about that?”
She dismissed Arsing.
It was already 11 a.m. but no Jesus came.
Then came knocking a man accompanied by two young ladies from a charity group to solicit funds for landslide victims in a neighboring town. She refused to see them because she was waiting for her important visitor.
Finally, it was almost noon but her most important visitor had not arrived. The maid came again telling her that an old beggar was downstairs asking for alms or food.
This time Tinay felt that it was too much. She got mad and furiously scolded her maid for disturbing her again.
“I tell you,” she was mad and almost shouting, “Tell that beggar not today! Don’t you know that I am waiting for a very important visitor?”
But her very important visitor did not come.
The next morning, Tinay was very early in church. She went straight to Jesus at the cross, knelt and told Him how much she prepared for His visit, but why did He not come?
The Lord answered: “I came three times to visit you yesterday at your home but you drove me away. I was in your overseer who needed your help to pay for his daughter’s tuition. I was in that team soliciting your help for landslide victims in the recent earthquake. I was also in that beggar who was hungry and asked you for alms or food. But you all rejected Me.”
Tinay unashamedly cried and cried when she heard what the Lord said. “I am very sorry my Lord. I did not know it was You.”
We hope you like the lessons in the story.
Happy Easter! (For comments or re-actions, please e-mail to [email protected])/PN