Priesthood is one vocation I had never pictured myself in. Standing in front of the crowd to preside over a Mass or deliver a homily was the least expected thing I could do. I was so happy when I got accepted as a pre-college seminarian. Despite having a firm heart for the vocation, I was being challenged, which left me perplexed. There came an opportunity to have a permanent position at a local government unit. I found myself immersed in doubts about whether my decision would be right or not. I underwent some discernment and became fruitful in my prayers. Amidst uncertainties, I chose to continue in this vocation. It took lots of courage for me to utter “yes” and leave everything behind.

The Blessed Virgin Mary received the Good News from the angel Gabriel that she had been favored by God to become Jesus’ mother. Her only response was “Fiat,” meaning “Let it be done!” Mary shows us that we can never go wrong by trusting the Lord. She held nothing of herself back from God. It was love, no doubt, that penetrated her heart and uttered her genuine response.

A total and complete trust is what is being asked of me as I continue my seminary formation. Like the Blessed Mother, am I submitting myself wholeheartedly to the plans of God? Indeed, following the Lord espouses both denial of our personal interests and recognition of ourselves as a servant. We should not be afraid in obeying God, for He will equip us with His overflowing mercy and grace to overcome life’s challenges. Also, I am challenged to be God’s bearer for everyone. Having a heart filled with the joy of God will enable me to bring Him and speak about Him to others.

By: Sem. Bryan S. Valenzuela

Today’s Gospel

Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

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Official News Service of the Media Office of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines

Holy Apostles Senior Seminary

You can still heed the call to the priesthood.

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