Third Word 2020

"He is your son… She is your mother." 

By Cristine Aye P. Balla, ECE

(Cristine has been working as an IC Layout Engineer for more than a year now. She is also a member of their local Church Choir. She is the eldest daughter of Anabelle Balla, our Faith Section Editor.)

Jesus loves His mother dearly. He does not want her to be alone and now that He won’t physically be there by her side, she needs someone to take care of her. At the same time, she needs someone to care of. Jesus reached out to His beloved disciple, John, to be there for His mother as family. 

Family. As Christians, we don’t just define family as those related by blood, through marriage or adoption. As Christians, we become brothers and sisters in Christ beneath the cross. We become a family in faith as we pray and worship the Lord as one. Like Mary and John, we must love and care for each other as family. And to care and love for someone entails sacrifice and the best way to make another feel love, is to show them in practice. Similar to our society today, there are people who need care like the poor, needy, and unloved. There are also those who are widowed, orphaned, homeless, depressed, and hopeless. As a family in Christ, He is reaching out to us to love and show our care for these people. 

Since the beginning of the year, here in the Philippines, we have experienced a lot of challenges with the threat of Taal Volcano erupting last January. I even had office mates who were really affected as they lived near the volcano and we kept on asking for their updates and if they were still OK. Those were times that I felt fear and worry for them so I kept praying for their safety. And I was relieved when everyone I knew who were really affected have safely evacuated. Then I felt really blessed when I kept seeing people around me take initiative to help and send their share of donations throughout the duration of that event that even the evacuation centers had to politely decline donations because they were already overflowing. And although I wasn’t there personally to hand over the donations, I prayed that our donations reached those who really needed them. 

After Taal eruption comes the pandemic COVID-19. Unlike a volcanic eruption which we could see, this virus is an invisible enemy which has cost lives, locked down nations, and crippled the economy. In spite of the pain and suffering this virus has caused, these times present an opportunity to strengthen our bonds and stand strong against these challenges. With that said, I was saddened by the news of people fighting over toilet papers and alcohol. Hoarding so much more than you need could mean that someone out there is lacking. So weeding out this selfish mindset, we should improve and reflect on our actions and how it could affect other people. With that, I hope everyone would realize that even in our own little ways we could show our love and care through sharing and prayer as a family.  

Pope Francis said in his Urbi et Orbi for an end to the coronavirus pandemic: "How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons".

Family. That's our calling. That's the way forward.


Dear Lord,
We adore You and recognize that You are reaching out to us to love one another as a family in Your Name. We are sorry for the times we forget You and what You have done for us. We thank You for the salvation You have brought to us. Please help us realize that our own actions will have an impact on those around us. Guide us to act with compassion like You. United with Mary, Your beloved Mother and our Mother, strengthen our bond as a family and our journey towards You. Amen.