THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Last Sunday in the wee morning hour God called Irene Avila, the beloved mother of our sister Lupe Moningka, home. She would be 90 this August. As most of you, I did not know Irene; what I knew was that everyday Lupe went to take care of her mother during her times of sickness. The last time Lupe saw her mother was the day before she passed on. Before leaving, Lupe told her that she would see her again the day after; in response, her mother replied, “If God’s willing,” as she always did. But God had another plan.
In his devotionals, Pastor Rick Warren says, “For Christians, death is not leaving home, it’s a homecoming.” Amen! For Irene Avila it is certainly a homecoming—she has come home to meet her heavenly Father. Lupe shared that despite her age and ailing body her mom could still recite, “The Lord’s Prayer,” which begins with, “Our Father, who is in heaven.” Instead of saying, “Our Father, who is in heaven,” she now says, “Our Father, I am in heaven.” Hallelujah!
The older I get and the more I see, the more convinced I am that the most precious gift we can leave behind is our faith—not spoken faith but rather a lived faith. Material possession comes and goes, but faith remains. Faith that is lived through is not only precious, it is also powerful. It gives a compass to our loved ones and strength in times of need. In the body of a lived faith we shall find a beacon of light that shines and gives us hope in our darkest hours.
Lupe has inherited that faith and one day she will pass it on to her children; and they, in turn, will pass it on to their children. No wonder the Psalmist says (116:15-16), “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of those faithful to Him. Truly I am your servant, Lord; I am your servant, as was my mother before me . . . .”