Week XXI, Year B
23 August 2009
Joshua 24:1-2a.15-17. 18b /// Ephesians 5:21-32 /// John 6:60-69
As part of our celebration of “Linggo ng Wika” (National Language Week) last week at Radio Veritas, Bernard Canaberal of “Pamilya Muna” asked me to join his radio program to discuss the richness and roots of some of our Filipino words. During our discussion, we got focused into some words about the married life like “panliligaw” or courtship.
Literally speaking, ligaw as a verb means “to lose one’s direction” or to get lost. When a man courts a woman, he makes “ligaw” because he puts on his best foot forward always so as to hide his true self so that the woman of his desire may fall for him.
This is the reason why when a woman is said to be so in love especially with a not-so-good- looking-man, people declare she’s blinded or lost as in “naligaw.” Hence, in we say that in marriage, there are three stages that every husband and woman go through: the illusion stage, disillusion stage, and joy.
Illusion is the ligaw stage because everything is in Technicolor; both think that if they marry each other, they would be the happiest man and woman in the world or even universe. But, disillusion comes in the moment they get married because that’s when the truth and reality come out in the open. Here we start hearing all the complaints and realizations that she is not really that beautiful or that he is not that gentleman at all. Their “sweet nothings” have become nothing at all and both could no longer stand each other’s sight nor voice although they would still go out to dinner and movies every week— he on Fridays while she on Saturdays.
This is the reason why they say married life is like the Holy Mass: first five years of marriage, you always pray and sing the Gloria; add ten more years, and the couple beg “Lord, have mercy”; and after 25 years, they pray “Take and Receive O Lord.”
But if the couple could work on their differences and problems arising from the realities and truths of their marriage, that is when they enter into the stage of joy which is not just being happy but having that certainty that despite all the woes in life and its complexities, there is someone who would always be there because of love.
My introduction may be very long but this is what our relationship with God is really all about. In the last five weeks, we have joined Jesus Christ in His journeys, being satisfied with real bread, and heard all His teachings about Himself being true food and true drink. But, as Jesus expounded on His “flesh and blood” being our nourishment in this life, when the going gets rought and tough…we want to leave him.
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.