Oi tobpinai ngaavi ku id di Tuhan Otumbazaan zou do…
But I thought God’s call would be something spectacular, like those in the Scriptures. I was naively waiting for it. Will it come in a dream, or an apparition, or a vision? I was in fact blindly looking for my own sign to confirm that God was really calling.
How much more spectacular could that sign be when over and over again it was right there before my eyes were it not for my blindness!
He showed it in the willingness and support of my parents,when in spite of their not understanding the quantum leap I made in the decision to answer the call in the midst of my university studies. Suffice for me to explain to them that it was better for me to enter seminary without any guarantees to cling to.
The sign was becoming clearer, as I began to gather that the formation years of seminary of hardships and joys, which I thoroughly enjoyed, were actually guiding me to discern my vocation and to purify my intentions.
There were times I nearly wanted to give up because it was hard to let go and let God. But God gave the grace of perseverance and it endured throughout the eight years of seminary life. Signs of this came in the form of fellow brother seminarians and good formators, companions that He provided for this faith journey.
The pastoral immersions provided humbling moments, through parishioners in discovering mistakes and misunderstandings and having them put right, which revealed a God who continues to work visibly and invisibly in my life (St Ireneus).
I began to see more clearly that being a pastor is to be just an instrument of God’s love; to be used by God as a manifestation of His love to His flock. It is a challenge for me to put love, rather than the great big things that I do, in the many small things I do.
Reflecting on my life thus far, I am sure the sign He has given me is His Love through the people around me. It was towards this Love, emanated through the people around me, that I felt being drawn to. That ultimate sign of Love is His life-giving action in the Eucharist.
These years of journey have truly been a love story, to know Jesus and falling in love with Him who loved me first. “In the evening of our lives we will all be judged by love.” (St Augustine)
Beginning this new journey, this new love story – between Jesus, me and all of you – I believe that I will not walk this journey alone for Jesus has said, “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time”. (Mt 28:20)