This October 2017, I will be on my 11th year as a priest. How time flies. After 14 years in the corporate world and 5 years in the seminary, I would tell people that the priesthood “is the world’s best kept secret.” It does have its share of trials and difficulties but the joy is unbelievable. Further, if I go back to my vocation story, there were many people who helped heed the call of God. While it sounds so nice that a corporate man leaves everything behind for the priesthood, the transition and the letting go are not easy.
I would just like to mention three of the many people who were instrumental:
- The Salesian Priests and Brothers – I studied at Don Bosco Makati from Prep to 4th year H.S. They did a wonderful mingling with the students. Although I did not enter the Salesian seminary, the vocation was planted by them.
- Fr. Von. He became our assistant parish priest and he was of late vocation. He was very instrumental in introducing me to the late vocation seminary, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary
- The late Msgr Chito Bernardo. I did apostolate work for him and learned a lot about the priesthood.
In talking about bringing people to Jesus and finding their vocation, today we celebrate the Feast of St. Bartholomew, one of the apostles. How did he find Jesus? It was through his friend, Philip.
If there is one thing that we all can do, it is to bring people to Jesus. How?
- Invite people to hear Mass. If only we were aware of the spiritual graces being received in encountering Christ. One Marian visionary once said, if there was an apparition going on and a Mass at the same time, go to the Mass because of the encounter with Christ.
- Share how God works in your life. Every day we are beneficiaries of miracles. We could bring hope and joy to others by testifying of God’s goodness.
- Praying for others, especially their conversion. St. Monica did not lose hope in praying for her son’s Augustine’s conversion.
In this Mass, we realize that we do not encounter people by accident. Our paths cross due to many reasons. One of them is that we may bring them to God.