Monday, August 18, 2008

Too Young

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Then I said, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy"…(Jer. 1:4-6)

While reflecting on the profound calling of Jeremiah I could not help but to think back the genesis of my vocation, reminiscing those moments that through the course of time brought me to SJVTS. Those were experiences of unqualified moments of happiness and eagerness that I wanted to clench through the rest of my life because it shaped me to be come who I am right now. I don’t have any mystical experiences to share about my vocation that push me to enter the seminary. My entry to the seminary has been so ordinary. No surprises, no amazement. But it has a great impact on me, of course. People may not seem to notice the glow within me but it really speaks a lot to me. I was about to study in MSU hopeful to gain promising degree for my future but the moment I receive the letter informing me that I was accepted in the seminary every thing has changed. That letter became the turning point of my life. It really altered the course of my life. I entered the seminary with my own choosing filled with so much grace and hopeful that I may succeed and reach until ordination.
I was too young then but I gain the courage to decide on my own. I know not all would reach until ordination but my act of deciding is my initial yes to God’s invitation. It is my profound yes to this very different lifestyle; a yes to the long seminary formation; a yes to what I would be. This is who I am. This is my vocation.
August 4 was the feast day of St. John Vianney. Together with it was the installation of the ministry of the lectors and acolytes. There were many reasons to celebrate together with my brother seminarians and some friends and benefactors. It was indeed a time of jubilation but what was memorable to me was not the celebration itself but my realization with my response during the installation rite. “ANIA AKO!” I audaciously proclaim. It was a very ordinary response to an extraordinary calling. That simple phrase was the only entry I wrote in my journal during that day and I tried to translate it in Surigaonun to make it more personal.
Bishop Ledesma would say, “sayon lang litokon pero lison e-maintain labi na ug dasmagan na ug daghang pressure ug daghang academic requirements”. The words of Bishop Ledesma were actually true but for me it is not just about coping with pressures and works. “Anai ako” is about saying yes to the Lord. It is about freedom and commitment for service. It is about life.
It was my third time to pronounce that phrase in public but only this time that I had had the most memorable realization. I came to realize that simple response helps me to gradually detach myself from the normal and most common vocation which is marriage. It gently snatch me from committing the intimate relationship of married life which I am trying to sacrifice to live in a more meaningful and valuable way of living. It also prepares me to accept freely the greater challenge that needs a greatest response, that is, to say “ania ako” during the day of my ordination.
I might be too young to think about it and unworthy to look forward for my ordination. The journey is still quite long but I need to prepare myself and be ready to say “Jari na ako!”