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“The Family of God: By the Hearing of the Word”

“Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.” (Psalm 65:4)

Mama was called into our Lord’s embrace last June 22, two days short of Papa’s birthday. Some said he came for her. And if he did, he came because the Lord called her to come and dwell in His courts, literally. I believe Mama, together with Papa, are enjoying in eternity the goodness of God’s house in all its fullness.

Mama’s passing brought home a sobering truth about life, but it also put a spotlight on the lessons her life taught us, her children . . . lessons on family and celebrations, generosity of spirit, and the transforming power of God’s love.

Mama loved her family. She loved the Manila-based Quiogue family with whom she grew up. She loved the Gingoog-based Fernandez family into which she married. She loved her church family too—the Cathedral of the King in Manila and the Cathedral Church of Christ the Redeemer in Gingoog. To her little family of Papa and four daughters, God added in her lifetime numerous grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandchildren, and many more friends. She opened her home to those who came from far and near, served them the best food our kitchen could whip up under her direction, and offered accommodation to whomever had need of it. Her hospitality was her form of service. It was her way of celebrating life.

Mama had a generosity of spirit that motivated her. If she could not open her home, she would give food. If she could not give food, she would give things. If she could not give anything, she would give her time. Time was her asset, which she shared generously and whole-heartedly with family and friends. Young or old, everyone was drawn to her because of her openness and her sense of humor that was as lively and hearty as her laughter.

Mama was a passionate person. Growing up, UFOs (Unknown Flying Objects) were a thing in our household. Her fiery Spanish temper would have everyone scampering for cover. No one wanted to be in her line of fire if they cared for their lives. Then she met the Lord, whose love transformed her quietly through the years. Her temper became a passion put to good use. She poured her love on her family, her orchids and on the church in Gingoog. And they all loved her back.

Mama’s life was about people, whom she drew to herself as a family with invisible cords of love and care. As she has gone through the veil and now dwells in the courts of our Lord, she gathers with family and friends who have gone before her, forever satisfied with the goodness of His house.

Corazon “Sonia” Muñoz Fernandez (May 8, 1935 – June 22, 2017)

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