February 23, 2013 Leave a comment
Brothers and sisters, let’s face this:
I haven’t met the boy. I haven’t held him, I haven’t hugged him as the rest of the guys at Ave did. I am just amazed at the faith that he has shown all of us here.
To his grave, Ivan will always carry that sure sign of faith that he has always been living up to. In all our undertakings, he would always say “Tiwala lang”.
However, I must confess this: The moment Weldann showed the Ave Maria Community Ivan’s hand bruised by apparently the syringes being injected into his veins, I completely lost my faith.
I already told myself, “Ito na. Mao na ni.” I was already preparing myself for the worst.
I was not able to uphold Ivan’s message of hope: Tiwala lang.
Luigi, where was your faith? Luigi, where were those things that you’ve been taught?
Tiwala lang. How will I trust if all I see is a sign of diminishing strength, deteriorating health, abating hope?
But here, Ivan, a young boy, but a very mature soul, only has this to offer: Faith.
Unwavering faith. Couple that with steadfast hope and his unmatched charity.
All the while I was thinking that perhaps “tiwala lang” would mean “tiwala lang at gagaling din ako”. Sure enough, gumaling siya. His spirituality even grew stronger. Tiwala lang, at akoy tatatag sa aking pananampalataya.
I must say today that he has taught me to completely trust in the Lord as far as my undertakings are concerned. His illness was a reminder of that fact that the Lord works wonders, even in young adolescents.
Well, in fact, the Church is never replete with young saints, like Maria Goretti, Pedro Calungsod, Dominic Savio.. and now we have Ivan Banaag of Malabon.
His patience with his suffering has surely expiated his sins, and yes, what sweet bliss as he has already experienced a Purgatory on earth.
Now, I must tell myself, “Tiwala lang, Luigi”. Trust that the Lord has his way with everything.
To the parents and the family of Ivan, be consoled with the fact that your boy has now reaped his reward.
Ivan, pray for me tawn bai. I pray that God grant me the patience that you have when you suffered bone marrow cancer. God has shown me another exemplar of humility in you.
God bless us all. Amen.