It is not just a one-time decision to follow Christ and live out this vocation to the priesthood. It has been three years since I entered the seminary and I realize that the formation ushers me to make daily a decision to follow Him and live out His call. As a priest-in-process, I profess a different kind of life now—a life of obedience, simplicity, humility, openness and most importantly, holiness.
Living out one’s vocation is not a walk in the park. Temptations abound. There is also an expectation to see you as an example of meekness, gentleness and positivity. It is challenging to live out who we claim that we are – disciples of Christ. Surrounded by personal issues, family concerns, academic pressures and the rigors of formation itself, sometimes I fall short and commit lapses and setbacks. Human as I am, sometimes I find myself compromising important virtues a priest-in-process should normally have.
Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, makes a claim that made the Jews very mad. The Jews cannot comprehend that Jesus saw the days of Abraham. In front of a roaring crowd, Jesus confessed who He was and where He came from. It was indeed a bold and deadly statement. He could have stayed hidden, run away from the Father and abandoned His mission. He knew what awaited him in Calvary, yet He remained true to who He is and what he stood for.
As a priest-in-process, I carry with me the identity of being formed after the Good Shepherd. In times of weaknesses and temptations, His love is my strength and His mercy is my refuge. As I tread the footsteps of the One who called, it is a constant invitation for me to carry my own crosses daily and incarnate in my life what I profess. I ask you to pray for all religious and diocesan seminarians who are in formation after the heart of Jesus, the High Priest.
By Sem. Lester John Cabais
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.