“Sign. Sign. More Signs”

2.17

In 2014, I heard again the call that I have set aside and “drowned” for so many years in
my pursuit of my career. Once again, the call to the vocation to the priesthood became louder and I knew I had to do something about it. I asked for a sign from God. I told Him that I will serve as a youth coordinator of our parish, put aside my desire to go back to the UK, but I have to “feel” ready for me to respond to the call. Many great things happened after that. We successfully brought back the youth ministry of our parish, I had a successful abdominal surgery after battling a yearlong bout with achalasia, and I became the representative of our parish to the Pope’s audience with the youth at the University of Santo Tomas. Those were huge signs to make me “feel” ready, but I still did not make a definitive response. Until one time, a lay leader in our parish asked me to be a co-facilitator in a recollection that she will give to the nuns. I joined her and after the recollection, she invited me to have a visit at Holy Apostles Senior Seminary so she can catch up with her seminarian friend. Her friend was not there but since we were there already, she asked me to just try taking the initial exam for the application. I did not
“feel” ready, but I did take the exam. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I am already at my 5 th year in seminary formation. There were so many signs, grand but mostly subtle, but I was so fixated in my own sign that I was not able to see God in His simple, ordinary signs.

The Pharisees in the Gospel today sought also a sign from Jesus to test Him. Jesus knew
this and sighing from the depths of his spirit, did not show them signs and left, not because he could not give a sign, but because the Pharisees could never see the sign even if it stares at them at their faces because of their lack of faith. The Pharisees had their own preference for a sign that no matter what Jesus did – miracles and all, they could never believe. We are sometimes left “paralyzed” in our faith because we dictate to God how our prayers should be answered. We forget that God always answers our prayers, but we have to listen to Him intently and see the subtle signs and answers He is giving us. Most of the time, these are not the signs we seek but His will is far better than ours. Who would have thought that the signs of the Messiah were twelve simpletons as his “army” not soldiers, a crown of thorns not a crown of gold, and a cross not a throne? God has his ways with signs. We can only see them if we allow God to reveal it to
us, in faith.

By Sem. Gerald Moscardon

THE GOSPEL TODAY

MK 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.

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