They ABANDONed their nets and FOLLOWed him.

15_Lorenzo_Veneziano,_Calling_of_the_Apostles_Peter_and_Andrew._1370_Staatliche_Museen,_Berlin.The gospel for this Sunday moves me a lot.  It invites me to revisit the day that I said my “yes” to the Lord in Religious Life. What made me say my “yes” to God that said “Come follow me”?  It’s still a mystery which is hard to fathom until now, but as I was recalling that moment in my life, all I can say is that I was inspired by this line coming from the Scriptures which the Rogationists introduced to me; the Harvest is great, but the Laborers are few (Luke 10:2).

Like Simon and his brother Andrew who abandoned their nets and followed Jesus, and also with James and his brother John who left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him, I too experienced this climactic scenario in my life.  I never thought of entering in a seminary.  The dream that I really wanted is to become a Chemical Engineer.  Actually, I am not good in Math, but I was really so interested with engineering so I strived hard and persevere to understand and to imbibe the strictness of Math.  Everything was already set in order for me to pursue my dreams when suddenly God intervened in the form of curiosity.  When I was planning to process all the needed documents for a Chemical Engineering course, it was also the time that my friend Elmer invited me to join the vocation orientation in the Rogationist Seminary-Manila.  Without any hesitation I said “yes” and curiously asked myself; “What is a seminary? And, what is inside of it?”  And that’s how my vocation journey begun.

Jesus always offers us a call.  It is up to us, whether we follow His call or not and He respects our ability to make choices from the heart.  At first, I don’t understand why He called me and why I immediately said my “yes” to His call.  But, as I revisited all the experiences that I encountered in my vocation journey in the light of the gospel for today, now it is getting clearer and reasonable that He called me for a great purpose and mission.  Indeed, Jesus called his first disciple not just to be his followers but also to be his co-workers for a great mission that God has bestowed in Him.  However, it takes a lot of sacrifices in order to be his co-worker.  Relating this to my vocation story, it was really a struggle for me to sacrifice all my plans and aspiration to become a Chemical Engineer for the sake of God’s own plans and aspirations for my life.  Yes, I am free to say “No” to this, but the greatness of God’s mission prevailed and impelled me to say my “yes”.

Now, I don’t feel any regrets in following the Lord.  I am now doing my very best to be his co-worker despite the fact that I do have a lot of shortcomings, and I felt and still feeling the real happiness and joy inside my heart. It is really true that there is a ceaseless joy and happiness when you give everything and your whole self to God.  I am really convinced that there is a bright side in giving up everything for the sake of abiding our lives to God.   Are you willing to encounter this so called “stunning and defining experience”?  It is simply abandoning everything and start following Him.

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