I Will Follow You

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As they 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.” 
To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

“I will follow you.”
I remember saying those words at the tender age of ten when Fr. Lagerway, a Sacred Heart Missionary came to give a vocation talk to our Grade Six class. I was one of a handful who raised their hands when he asked who would want to enter the seminary. He had described what it meant following the call of Christ by entering the seminary, including the plan of building a swimming pool in their then new seminary in Angeles City.

And sixty years later, I am still trying to follow Christ. There have been times I felt so inspired in following Christ that I wanted to change the world for him, even willing to lay down my life for His Kingdom. There were also times when I felt like giving up, or like not sure I was doing the right thing, or like it is not worth all the efforts and difficulties. Even now, there are still times I wonder what it really means to follow Christ, or how to do it, or even why do it all.

I did enter the seminary but did not make it to the priesthood. But much of who I am today, I owe to my seminary formation. For which, I am deeply grateful.

I have married a most wonderful woman, who brought out the best in me. Her simple and deep spirituality puts me to shame with her steadfast faith and unwavering love. I have spent more years with her than with anyone else and I would have it no other way.  She affirmed strengthened my desire and decision to follow Christ. Even now, as we are into our senior years, she keeps me along the path to Christ. The path has not always been straight nor easy. But together, we have been faithful followers of Christ.

We have three sons and somehow I see in them the path we have chosen. They live and believe the same values and principles we have lived by. They are good, giving, forgiving and, most of all, loving. We raised them in a home where Christ is alive and I would like to believe they are also followers of Christ, a decision they have made at one time in their growing up years with us.

 

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