‘Vocation is all about relationship’ – priest

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Palo Vicar General Msgr. Rex Ramirez leads the recital of vows of fourteen seminarians during their cassock investiture at the opening Mass of Vocations Month. (Photo: Eileen N. Ballesteros).

TACLOBAN City, Sept. 2, 2016 – How does one find one’s calling in life?

A priest answered this question by explaining that it is actually based on an existing relationship with God that makes it possible to hear His voice through His Word.

“The theme of vocation concerns our relationship with the word of the Lord,” said Palo Archdiocese Vicar General Msgr. Rex Ramirez, who gave the homily during a Mass on Sept. 1, where 14 3rd year Philosophy seminarians at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, Leyte donned for the first time their cassock.

He discussed further, “The question is not about am I going to be a priest or should I marry or become a sister or maybe stay a single all my life doing service, but it is a question of ‘Do I want to be blessed?’”

Intimacy not just tests

“If we say yes, then we have to listen to the Word of the Lord,” explained Ramirez.

The priest, in his homily, underscored the essence of vocation is to “heed the word of God, listen and follow his command.”

“God shows his intimacy with us, He calls and not just tests us to make us wise.”

The Word of the Lord, he said, comes to the faithful in many ways, like the Gospel and the other readings, which transform people’s lives as some saints have personally experienced.

“The Lord wants to recreate us through His Word,” he said, because “we belong to Christ.”

Ramirez, who is a former rector of the seminary, stressed that not all who heed the call to the religious life will end up nuns or priests because the Mother Church knows who have the calling for specific paths.

‘Old but wise’

“Others who enter the convent will go out after few years because the Church through the superiors of the community decided that she is not really being called to the vocation,” he further explained.

“The Church is a mother, very old but wise, she knows about vocation and this has been her work since the very beginning” Ramirez stressed.

If there is one tangible proof of a seminarian’s advancement in his clerical aim, it would be to officially wear his cassock. It is for this reason that the investiture of seminarians oftentimes happens during Vocation Month.

Seminary Dean of Studies Fr. Mark Ivo Velasquez stressed, “The cassock ought to remind the seminarians of many things,” such as “their identity, as something which has been touched by Jesus and transformed by it” and the “right to that vocation, by grace.”

He further reminded the seminarians: “The cassock is something that should remind them that they are meant to be visible as fire is visible,” as “they are called to be the light of Christ in the world.”

This year’s Vocation Month celebration bears the theme, “The Church, Mother of Vocations.” (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros /CBCP News)

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