It is not easy to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ. It calls for denial of one’s whole self, making sacrifices and enduring sufferings by carrying one’s cross.
Prior to my entry at Holy Apostles Senior Seminary (HASS), I first entered our diocesan seminary and stayed there for few years. Back then, I remember that I was excelling in relation to theoretical knowledge but on the contrary, I find myself limited in terms of practical knowledge. As I began my journey, I thought that life will be convenient and everything will run smoothly. To my surprise, I struggled my way and I found it hard to do the tasks that were given to us by our formators, especially when it comes to manual labor. At home, I do not even clean my room and just wait for my mother to do it for me. Because of this, I became overly dependent on her. Hence, when it was my time already to do my share of manual labor (“manualia”) like cleaning the surroundings of the seminary, I really found it hard especially when it is time to collect the trash.
Moreover, I also experienced difficulty in handling my responsibilities as the class representative (beadle). I had trouble in standing in front and speaking to the public. I remember that even when I am in a small group, I would find it hard to express my opinion and assert myself because my self-esteem was very low. My peers and my formators told me that I fall short of being a leader and usually ends up being a member or just a mere follower. Because of this, I felt disheartened and thought of leaving the seminary. Despite these, I remained steadfast and persevered. Little by little, I was able to bounce back and gain momentum. I realized that I needed to take all the criticisms and corrections with a positive outlook and use them as building blocks.
Indeed, God calls us to put our trust in Him and acknowledge that despite of our sinfulness we are loved by the Lord. However, he never promised us a life without pain and suffering. Rather, he assured us that he will accompany us and carry our cross with us. This invites me to carry on the journey, endure the challenges and treat them as my participation in the passion of the Lord, and take the hardships in life as ways for me to be a better follower of the Lord.
By: Sem. Fernan Angelo M. Gonzales
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”