Formation for husband and wife
Ross Belle Balatbat
The Miracle in Cana was relived in the experiences of four couples who joined the Cana Encounter Seminar facilitated by the Pastoral Care for Filipino Migrants last March 08, 2015 at the St Joseph Choc Van Convention Center.
The seminar was an avenue of encountering Christ in their midst, the Church and other people supporting them, and leading them back to Him. It was an encounter of the love they have for each other which calls to be an expression of Christ’s love to their family and the Church.
The basic references and flow of the Cana Encounter was patterned after the story of the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12). Fr. Jay Gapayao, SOLT started off his sharing with the six empty jars which symbolizes emptiness, lifelessness and unhappiness. And he pointed out that the Cana Encounter in itself is a prayer wherein the couples may savor their encounter with Christ and the Glory of God and His miracles in their relationship as man and woman.
THE INSUFFICIENCY FOR MARRIAGE. The couples shared their experiences of the hindrances in receiving the Sacrament of Marriage which most of the times point to financial constraints. However, their joy and love for each other, in spite of the difficulties they experience, sustain them and help them to still be with one another. And the need to be with God, though they may be unworthy, keep them hopeful that one day, they may receive the Matrimonial blessing.
SUPPORT OF THE COMMUNITY. Marriage is a gathering of the Community. The Couple, as the two are made one, is the instrument of gathering, making one all peoples. As Mary instructed, ‘Do whatever He tells you.” God tells us: “Be one as the Father and I are one.” With this, the facilitators manifested their oneness with the couples by giving them a “post-valentine treat” – a fine dining and a serenade by Mr. Rudy Sousa, the famous “Elvis of Macau”.
GOD PROVIDING THE ‘WINE’. From the very start, God himself had already given each couple the ‘wine’. Christ is already in their midst even as to the first time they met. God was bringing them together. And as they realized this, they were overjoyed which brought them to that initial decision of accepting the sacrament of Matrimony.
THE WORTHY CELEBRATION OF THE BANQUET. After a meaningful confession, the couples were able to experience again the true meaning of the Eucharist as a banquet of love – the source, the nourishment and the sustenance of life and love.
The Cana Encounter was a day of miracle, but the Eucharist was for them, was the climax of all the miracles – a real and concrete experience of God’s glory. They themselves became the ‘wine’ for each other, for their family and the Church as they pledged their commitment of love and goodness with more authentic joy. They were full of hope with a renewed life-changing encounter in their journey as a couple.
The Cana Encounter is part of the program of the Family & Life and Youth Commission of the Pastoral Care for Filipino Migrants geared towards the formation of migrant families to be EVANGELIZERS OF FAMILIES, “A FAMILY THAT CARES FOR ALL.”