diary entry - easter sunday
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
When we’re at the dinner table and my father is about to pray, I feel my mother’s gaze even when my head is bent down. Father sits in front of me at the table and he often starts his prayer by holding the hand of the person next to him. When he’s not home for dinner, my mother asks my siblings and I to say grace, almost like a class recitation. Perhaps, she does this just so she can listen to us speak.
Mother notices how I recite my prayers—quick with my eyes wide open—before we consume meals. Sometimes, she would ask me to repeat my words. I’ve gotten accustomed to uttering them the same way I recite words I’ve memorized from textbooks, or the way we repeat after the Pastor reading Bible passages during Sunday service. The tones are flat and my mouth barely opens—words easily slipping through my teeth.
And they observe how dull these graces leave my lips, or how I seem to push it away when they offer the task. It feels like I am forced to consume something I cannot swallow. I keep it in my mouth and let my tongue taste it, but I refuse to let it pass through my throat. My Father feeds me more verses and books every day—even when we’re no longer at the table—like merienda in between meals.
They lay it before me and I feel their gaze as they watch closely, spoon after spoon. A buffet of verses, I feel overwhelmed every time I participate in this feast. I say grace.
Bless us, oh Lord
and these thy gifts which
we are about to receive
from thy bounty,
through Christ, Our Lord.
I never understood why they needed to keep me full. But I realized that we had to keep consuming before we reach demise—before words and verses are scarce and there is nothing left to keep us alive. I took them as if they were the last thing on the cupboard and stumbled upon emptiness like an inevitable drought. To satiate them I swallowed everything I was offered.