During this summer I have been assigned to help in promoting vocations in my diocese (El Paso Diocese). We have been planning different activities such as vocation retreats to help the youth to discern their own vocation. Another activity is to have the volleyball game between different parishes from the diocese. In order to promote these activities we have been visiting different parishes and youth groups around the diocese. We help during masses and we share some thoughts about our own experiences. In addition, I will share with you some of the highlights on my presentation. Below is my personal sharing:
Are you familiar with flashback techniques that people use in movies? Where the characters, and most of the time the old man or woman start remembering their past and telling their stories with their friends.
About three years ago… one of the most important moments in my vocation journey took place. I met with a priest friend of mine, at the seminary where I was studying philosophy, and as you know…….. Studying is not always easy. I was in desolation and came to him for an advice and direction. I asked him “Father how can I know this is what God is calling me to do? How can I know this is the place he wants me to be?” Then, he responded: German, “Look for the signs of the time!”. It is such a simple phrase but it means a lot to me then. This priest enlightened me and also helped me to realize how marvelous God has been working in my life. Thoughts came to me remembering when I was an altar server, a choir boy, then a catechist, and so on … I got involved a lot in parish activities in my home parish in Columbia. God was not only active in my parish life, but through little things. For example, the people I met, like my pastor that I really admired, who was very nice, humble and happy, and holy. Another important memory in my life was when I got a job away from home. I could only see my family once in a while.
Now when I think about those events, especially those moments when I was away from my family, I realized that God have a bigger plan for me. Perhaps He was preparing me for a greater adventure, to be in another land other than my home country. Somehow God was preparing me to be a missionary for the Gospel. All I have to do is to say yes to him.
Yes, that is part of my vocation story.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my great gratitude to you. Deep within my heart, I would like to say… “Thank you.”
I am very grateful to God for having you in my vocation journey. We may be far away sometimes physically but closed in prayers. The farther I am on my vocation journey, the more I need your prayers. Please continue to pray for more vocations and rest assured that you are always in our prayers.
I would like to end this talk with the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel according to Luke: “[Jesus] said to [his disciples], ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’”
Thank you very much… May God bless you always! Thank you!