Reina Mosqueda. Photo: Reina Mosqueda
My family was not religious or active in the parish when I was young. My father had a different belief and hated the Catholic faith, especially the priests. My Mom just agreed with my father to avoid conflicts with him. My eight siblings and I were all baptised in the Catholic Church, but, as a family, we did not go to church like other Catholic families in our neighbourhood. Growing up, I did not know who Jesus was because we did not discuss it at home. But there is one family member who was brave and courageous in expressing his faith and love in God - my brother Levy.
Levy is the third brother among my six older brothers. Growing up, he was very much aware of the poor financial condition of our family. At a young age, often after school, he used to go to the farm almost two hours from our house to get some wood or vegetables to sell and give money to my parents. Until now, he is very kind, helpful, hardworking, and responsible.
He was a teenager when he started to get interested in knowing God by going to mass every Sunday. He liked listening to the parish priest's homilies and the choir's songs. He found fulfilment in what he did. He was not disappointed even though he knew our family was in poverty. The hard work he did on the farm became light and full of satisfaction because he knew that God was with him. Even if he was sick, he would go to the farm and work. He did not feel discouraged because he found joy in everything he did. His desire to know God became stronger and stronger every day, like his will to follow Him. When he decided to follow God, he did many things to know Him well. He tuned in to the Catholic radio station as a member of the Bible study group, bought spiritual books, joined a charismatic community, and became a catechist in the parish. Through these activities and the formation he received in the church, he developed a deep relationship with God. He saw God as his strength and great provider. He believed that following Him and His teachings would make him inherit His kingdom, which is his ultimate goal as a Christian.
However, my father was not happy that my brother Levy was an active member of the church and scolded him every time he got drunk. Whenever our father arrived home drunk, even in the middle of the night, he would get a bible and fight with him. My brother did not fight back and did not hold grudges against our father. Instead, he forgave and prayed for him. His relationship with God shaped his Christian values and character.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17).
From an early age, this Biblical passage became my brother's great reminder of God's love for him. His faith led him toward the right path. He desired to become a monk or a religious someday. When he started searching for God's true plan for him, he was amazed at how God accompanied him throughout his search. He believed that the graces of courage and determination he had during those times of searching for the call of God for him were the manifestations of God's faithfulness to him. Nevertheless, God had a different plan for my brother Levy. He got an opportunity to study in a Catechetical Center for two years for free on the condition that he would teach in the parish school. And after some years of working in the school as a Religion teacher, he found his future wife in the parish, who was also a catechist at that time. When he got married, he studied a four-year course in college, majoring in Mathematics. At present, my brother is a public school elementary teacher. He did not become a monk or a religious, but he continues to serve God in his parish together with his own family.
Levy with wife Malou and their son. Photo: Reina Mosqueda
The fulfilment and deep joy I witnessed in my brother were the reasons why I also desired to follow God. He inspired me to put my faith and trust in God's divine providence and to learn more about the life and teachings of Jesus so I can also share His great love for His people. I also became a student catechist in high school and took up a course majoring in Religious Education. My brother Levy is one of the significant people in my journey of faith for whom I will always be grateful. God is truly faithful and generous to His people. He gave me my brother Levy who led me to know and love Him. I hope that like my brother, I may lead other people to know God's great love for them with deep joy and a heart that is fulfilled.
Reina Mosqueda is a Columban Lay Missionary in Taiwan.
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Mar 27, 2023 at 12:04 PM
Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. What a lovely brother!