This event happened three months ago, when my brother was celebrating his debut. However, as we have a financial problem due to Grandma’s illness, I had no plan to celebrate it. But I noticed his gloomy aura, and I knew he was very lonely. It was his very special birthday, and we had nothing prepared for him. As a loving sister to her siblings (who always put them first), I can’t bear to feel the loneliness of my brother! So I risked my budget, and I made a trip to the grocery store right away! I could only buy one package of spaghetti and the ingredients, one kilo of macaroni salad, one big can of fruit cocktail, and a few added ingredients (I prefer the one with mayonnaise and cheese). I also planned for a vegetable rolls, bought four loaves of bread, and only one kilo of pork meat for Afritada. (Afritada is our own style of stew, but far from the usual American stew. We adapted it from Spaniards since 1500’s, when they occupied Philippines for more than 300 years.)
Okay, now I had four different recipes (excluding the bread). Not bad for a family dinner, with ten people celebrating. We were in the middle of preparing them, and I was making the spaghetti and the salad (which is one of my favorites to prepare!). My mother was making the vegetable rolls (she is so good at wrapping the vegetables. She slices them very small and make very nice rolls! I am trying to make one like she did, but still, I can’t make one perfectly like my mom’s). Mother’s is always the best! And my grandma cooked the Afritada which all of her expertise! And I you can imagine how my two-year-old son wanted to help us, but only messed around instead. Such a very sweet boy!
Okay, let’s get back to how we were in the middle of cooking. Suddenly, we saw a bunch of people from a distance who we knew. They were my relatives, and the men are very close to my brother. We were shocked! We never invited anyone. I counted them, and there were forty people, including the kids. We didn’t know what to do actually!
Could we tell them that they better to go home, because the food was only enough for us?
No! My elders never taught me to become selfish and unkind! They have no wealth to pass on to us, but they leave me many lessons in life and good stories. (I could always remember my grandma’s story that my great-grandfather was chosen to inherit a certain amount of money from a rich relative, but he rejected it. He knew his life would be in danger from the adopted children in his family if he accepted it. His principle was, “better to live a simple life with happiness, than a wealthy life without peacefulness.”)
We couldn’t say no to the people at our door. Like some of Jesus’s words in the Bible (I can’t remember the exact words, but the meaning is like this), Open your door to those who are knocking. Give food to the hungry. Give room for those who need a dwelling place. And you will receive.
I then remembered one more of Jesus miracles. This one was about the five thousand people he feeds.
There was a huge crowd of people that followed Jesus through the day. Jesus disciples are worried about the people, so they asked him to dismiss them to go home and find food for them.
“There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves,” Jesus said to them. And they replied, “Five loaves and two fish is all we have.”
“Bring them here to me,” Jesus said, and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessings, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21)