We just came from the Easter vigil here in our Parish of Saint Lawrence the Martyr. This celebration never fails to inspire and move me. It is the longest rite of the Church but also the most well-attended. It is also the night when catechumens are baptized and candidates are confirmed. And tonight was specially meaningful for me as a good friend will be among those who will be initiated into the Catholic Church.
Bobby de Leon (not his real name) and I used to work for the same company. In fact, he was my boss. I enjoyed working with him as we shared many views in common. We did not always agree but the respect and the trust in each other were always there. When I was about to make a major decision in my life (like moving to the US); he was one of the few trusted persons I consulted.
Last month, I was very happy and shocked to receive a note from him, saying among other things this:
By end of month I will be officially a Roman Catholic.
Some of my friends are astonished.
But for me a long path in the right direction.
I feel amazingly comfortable in the RC church here.
And you my friend started and assisted my path,
although you did not know it at that time.
For your guidance and inspiration
I was elated for I always knew Bobby and I shared more than the jokes we bantered each other with or our common dedication to work. I was shocked, flabbergasted, dumbfounded that I should be instrumental in his journey of faith. I thank the Lord for this gift for Bobby. But I must declare that I feel I had nothing to do with it. I had no intention of doing so. Nor was I even remotely aware that I gave him “guidance and inspiration”.
This is almost scary for me. I want to be close to the Lord. But I am scared that this is too close for comfort. How did this happen? Why? What did I do?
Some of the best years of my career I spent with Bobby. It was fun for me. I never realized it was something deeper for him. Life indeed is very strange. There are surprises and then there are unexpected twists and turns. Out of the depths of winter comes the spring. And the lush verdant leaves of summer all too soon fall to the ground.
On a deeper level, I have realized that life is the only reality. That is what Easter is all about – a reminder that life is stronger than death; only light can dispel the darkness; that evil cannot drive out hate, only love can do that; that goodness will always triumph over evil.