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Id like to begin with the words a Dominican once told me when I asked whether I can join their order. He posited a question to me which I then took it as an insult so I did not pursue joining them. The statement was “Have you really heard the voice telling you that you should become a priest, tinawagan ka bas a telepono o baka naman illusion mo lang yan.” I never thought of what was at the back of his mind when he confronted me with that question. Later I realized way back when I was already a postulant, that he was just trying to discern on the call, on the invitation of God.

Discernment and recognition of the call is necessary. Then once we realize what is this call, we start to find its true meaning. What is this vocation? I am reminded of the answers of our dear seminarians there in the sigaw board at the 2nd floor of Rafael Briega Hall. Some said that vocation is …

“Callings have led people to great accomplishments.” Why does it become great? Because if the calling truly comes from god, it is for sure a call of love, a call to love (CALL OF LOVE, CALL FOR LOVE). Authentic calling proceeds from the source of LOVE who is GOD and it is felt in the assembly of God or the Church, in the chosen ones, in each individual or neighbor. Each one of us is CALLED, we are all called by name. We are called in many ways, in many walks of life. We are called by God unconditionally. Vocation is not just about priesthood… its about everything in this world. I, you are invited to take the vocation of priesthood. Our parishioners here were called to the vocation of married life. Our religious sisters are called to a life of holiness and in living out the charisms of their founder. Each of these if we carefully analyze, leads to only one reason LOVE. VOCATION is about LOVING. VOCATION IS about being Loved by God. To be an ordained is to be a mirror of the unconditional love of God. To marry is to love each other unconditionally. Vocation is the condition of every individual wherein one is loved by God, compelled to love his flock, his/her husband/wife, her community… offering one’s life for a friend. (diba for those na mga nakaranas ditto manligaw.. magsuyo ng sinisinta…I presume you know what i mean.. as well as to those who are married here and those who have children of their own.. you know how it is to truly love your blood relations.) Vocation is not just a state of good life but it is a call to suffer for the sake of loving, a call to uncertainty and giving up of many personal interests…and that’s true to all types of vocation.

Today is the feast of the apostle Mathias. He was called, elected not to be served but to serve the assembly of God. Same with us, he was chosen, they discerned about it, he was not forced, there was a process that took place. Matthias was chosen to Love, to continue the living memory of their beloved Master, our Lord Jesus Christ.

My dear brothers and sisters, we are challenged by the saint of the day and the readings we have just heard, to nurture our own individual vocations, our individual calling. How do we nurture it and take care of it? We only have to go back to the meaning of Vocation. Let it be imprinted in our hearts that in order for us to be true to this vocation of ours, simply follow the prescription of Christ – lay down your life for your friend. Love unconditionally.


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