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.
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”
The last Sunday’s gospel, we once more heard the cry of John the Baptist who prepares the Lord’s way. We are always hear this invitation coming from the Baptist every Advent, but the question that we must ponder upon as we reflect upon the last Sunday gospel is this; as our ears are already numb in hearing the invitation of John the Baptist, did we already take it seriously? Do we really prepare the way of the Lord and making straight His paths? Are we 100% convince about this invitation coming from the Baptist?
What is the way that we should prepare for the coming of the Lord and what are the paths that we should make straight? This is the question that popped-up into my mind as I reflect upon the Baptist’s invitation for all of us believers of Christ. Actually, the Baptist does not refer to merely physical order or preparation nor Christmas decorations as our means to anticipate the coming of the Lord; rather it refers about our proper disposition and our capacity to reform our lives for His coming. Conversion is the theme of the Baptist’s cry for all of us who are longing for the coming of the Messiah. In life, we are really aware that we are unworthy to face the Messiah who is to come. There are really lots of shortcomings and failures that we have which hinders us to recognize the face of God. As I reflect upon the Baptist’s invitation, being in guilt with our loopholes is not a proper attitude and a proper anticipation for expecting the Messiah; it’s all about conversion. Conversion is not only all about transformation or change itself, but it is all about letting our hearts to be makeover and maneuvered by perseverance, persistence, and optimism. The question is how to start converting ourselves for the Messiah who is to come? Conversion is possible into our lives if and only if we forgive ourselves. Forgiving ourselves testifies what it means to be indulging with the beauty of conversation. It is also marks the significance of loving ourselves despite the fact that we are nothing and worthless. Forgiving ourselves is the best preparation for all of us as we ponder in our lives the value of self-conversion for the Messiah who is to come.
It’s really like a long journey as we wait for the Lord’s coming. The Baptist’s cry reminds us that as we move on in preparing ourselves for the coming of the Messiah let us not forget that Conversion is the key for us to recognize His value and significance into our lives. We should never be afraid in letting conversion penetrate our hearts. That’s the only way for us to realize that we cannot seek God unless we forgive ourselves.
It’s never too late when we start all over again. Life is full of probabilities to improve ourselves starting from the basic. There’s nothing wrong when we will going to repeat what we have started before. It’s not about cowardice that we start all over again; it’s about humility and being true to ourselves that sometimes we fall short on our determination to achieve a better and productive life, so we need really to go back from the start.
My experience as a blogger is full of starting all over again. I cannot deny the fact that I am prone with exhaustions and fatigues especially when I am not anymore enthusiastic and consistent in blogging. It’s really hard to start all over again. It’s tiring and demanding. It is also time and energy consuming. But, when I take the risk to go back from the beginning, it refreshed me to do blogging again. To go back from the beginning opened my mind to welcome new insights and ideas which became a motivational factor for my blogs to be more consistent, coherent, sincere, encouraging, and person-oriented. With this experience I found out a lesson which is so very important as a blogger and as a human person; that life cannot be measured by how many achievements and successes that I gained, it’s on how many times that I humble myself in every beginnings that I encounter as I move on.
Deep inside my heart, I cannot but go back to every instance in my life that I consider to start all over again. It’s very humbling indeed to remember that day that really reveals what it means not to give up despite the onslaught of discouragement and distress. It’s really difficult to start all over again, but that’s life. In every downfall we experienced in life we cannot but go back from the basic and to be inspired once again by it in order for us to stand once again from our downfalls and continue to move on. Indeed, life is really full of probabilities if and only if we consider into our lives that it’s really important to go back from the beginning. Every beginning is our first inspiration to move on and I believe this is the key for success.
Days have passed and I am still in difficulty to produce something catchy, inspiring, and entertaining for my blog. So, I feel so bored today as I really try to be consistent in updating my blog. As I really felt down and tardy today, I fall down on my knees and pray in front of the crucifix. This is what I prayed to the Lord:
Lord, I would like to write something on my blog, but I don’t know what I should write. It seems I am not inspired and my mind does not produce insightful thoughts that are intended for inspiring my readers and praising you. I asked myself; Is this a manifestation that words are insufficient to describe how immense is Your love for me and for those who long for it? Truly enough, words are insufficient for me to describe and to feel the intensity of Your love. Truly enough, words fly but Your love remains the same.
Lord, I have a dream, i.e. to inspire and motivate people through my insights, writings, and speeches. But, I admit, I am incapable on these things. My insights are not appealing to the people because it sounds ordinary and intriguing especially when it pertains to my identity and personality. I am not a good writer, because my mind and my hands are too clumsy. I am not a good speaker because I have a stage-fright and I am not also appealing to the audience. Lord, even though I don’t have the guts and I am incapable to motivate and inspire people through my insights, writings, and speeches; please help me to attain those aspirations of mine. Lord, I see myself as a motivational speaker and writer someday, but fear hinders me to chase and to fulfill these dreams. Lord, take me out from this fear and boredom, so that I may attain these longings of my heart. May you also enlighten my heart and mind, so that through the gifts that I am longing, I may be able to love you all the more and all of my being. Lord, if it’s your will, THY WILL BE DONE. Amen.
Sounds sloppy right! Actually, for me it sounds romantic because this is how I love the Lord; i.e. being sincere and honest about what I feel, what’s on my mind, and what’s happening to me in front of Him.
Time runs so fast. Everything moves and changes so swiftly. Yesterday I was just a boy playing with my favorite toy; now I am a man facing with so many concerns, hopes, aspirations, dreams, and obligations in life. Life is really progressing. People come and go. Days, months, and years are fading so fast. Everything has changed, and still continuously changing.
There are really massive differences as I compare my past, my present, and the future that I will be facing before my naked eyes. It’s grievous into our lives to waste every life’s opportunity that we encounter despite the hastiness of time. Wasting a single opportunity in life is already equivalent to remorse. We really cannot bring back opportunities as well as time, because they not last forever. Why do I say this?
Actually, as I am reflecting upon the quickness of time, I cannot but ask myself; why it’s hard to defeat time when you need to return every opportunity that you encountered and wasted in life? The only thing that popped-up into my mind as I contemplate in this question is this; everything in life passes by so fast.
We cannot really control Time. We cannot turn back the opportunities that we wasted in life. The only thing that we could do is to accept, be humble, and start all over again. Hence, it’s very important to cherish every opportunity that we encounter in life. From this, I realized, living a life in the fullest cannot be attained without opportunities, and opportunities cannot be fathom without Time. Time may always be rapidly active every day. The important thing that we should take into consideration is this; when time counts, every opportunities counts. Wasted opportunities will never be forever repeated as the same as what we encounter. Every opportunities are like gold just like what time is, so let us not waste it.
Do you want to see miracles in life? All you need to do is to believe in yourself that you can because God is with you. When life seems too hard to understand, calm down and stand up. Nothing will lose if you at least try to start all over again. Moving on is not a defense mechanism for cowards, but an opportunity to see the true colors of life. Never give up. Move on. Stay positive. Always be hopeful even though the world deprives you to hope. Live your dreams by doing it with persistence and perseverance. Chase them with assurance of joy and contentment. Don’t always forget into your life that you’re unique despite the fact that you’re weak and insignificant in the eyes of the proud. Run like a champion in life. Be courageous in facing the hurdles of your life. Be not afraid of them because they are opportunities for you to go on. Despite the fact that you’re broken inside, always remember that you’re being loved and embraced by the Beholder because you are precious in His eyes. When things are not according to what we expect, let them be and let them go. There are more important things in life that will make us productive and mature. Stop wasting your time and energy on those things. Learn to accept yourself. Forgive. Appreciate. But, don’t forget to pray and ask for God’s compassion and mercy.
When you let these things affect and subdue your life, I assure you, there will be miracles if you only believe.