In the Gospel, Peter said to Jesus: “We have given up everything and followed you.”
I remembered what I “have left behind” when I decided to enter the seminary. I used to be a Public School Teacher. In the province, it is one of the most stable jobs one could have. I can still recall how some of my co-teachers and friends discouraged me by telling me: “Tristan, permanent ka na, T3 (Teacher 3) pa even without Masters. You are already earning much with other benefits and bonuses every May and December…” They did not know that there were even greater things I have abandoned: my family, my treasured friends, my materialism, and my Holy Week goals.
So I thought about St. Thomas and St. Clare, who left castles and comfortable lifestyles, to help me rationalize and lighten up my heart that what I was leaving behind was nothing compared to them. When I entered the seminary and grew to know my fellow seminarians, I felt that there was no need for me to console myself with Saints Thomas and Clare anymore because most brothers have left a lot more things than I have!
I also remember how a very close friend of mine often expressed his dislike over the idea of entering the seminary and discouraged me from doing so. He said he was just concerned with my future because I will be left alone with no one to take care of me in my retirement years. Despite the expenses in the seminary and other financial obligations, I have survived and am still thriving because of God’s providence through many generous people. I have witnessed myself how He takes care of His disciples’ affairs and welfare. I have realized that I am invited to leave my own desires and dreams, my time with my family and friends, to give myself fully to the service of the Lord. What our Lord expressed to His disciples in the Gospel may be a very demanding order but the reward is unimaginable—Himself.
By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco
Peter began to say to Jesus,
‘We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”