God chose you before the world was made, newly baptised told

“God chose you as His own even before the world was made,” the rector of St Simon Catholic Church Likas said to 10 candidates for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) during the Sacraments of Initiation, Aug 26.

Sep 12, 2020

By Audrey J Ansibin
“God chose you as His own even before the world was made,” the rector of St Simon Catholic Church Likas said to 10 candidates for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) during the Sacraments of Initiation, Aug 26.

“You have been longing for this a long, long time,” Fr Cosmas Lee said in his opening remarks to some 80 attendees, addressing the candidates’ four-month wait following the partial lockdown during the pandemic.

“The one who has longed for this more than you has been God, our Father. He has been anxious because He has tested you,” he said, adding that the pandemic — the postponement — helped them be better prepared, more pleasing children of God.

“And He’s still testing you today with the weather,” Fr Lee said, referring to the intermittent rain that evening.

“He’s still testing you today  with no ‘bunga-bunga’ (flowers and decorations). Unlike at the Easter Vigil, where those to be baptised were given all the attention.

“But Baptism, Confirmation  and the Eucharist cannot become less precious gifts. They are exactly as precious.

“Rejoice, celebrate these gifts of sonship and daughtership — His calling us, choosing us for  Jesus by the power of His Holy Spirit to become His very own.”

Later, in his sermon, Fr Lee said it’s not uncommon for people to question or doubt their religious calling in life.

“I was in the seminary from 1965 to 1976 — 11 years — before I was ordained. In all those 11 years, although I looked as if I wanted to be a priest, like most seminarians, there was always this nagging doubt: Did God call me?

“It’s a big decision to make. In a way, to leave the world — to give up your career, to give up marriage, all those things that are quite legitimate — to give up all these things to be a priest.

“But what if God did not call me and I become the most unhappy priest? Eleven years, there was this nagging doubt. I don’t know how many spiritual directors I spoke to in order to try and say: ‘yeah, God has called and, therefore, I’m good and okay.

“I asked this question until the  very week before I was ordained. But on the day of the ordination, I could never ever forget the conviction that God had called me. And I gave myself totally to God as far as I could with the help of the Spirit,” Fr Cosmas said, relating his experience as a seminarian.

Turning to the RCIA candidates, he said, “if you have those nagging questions, stop it.”

“When you come here, put yourselves in the hands of God. We come here giving God the gift of our own self. Make it a pleasing gift, make it a fragrant gift. So, give yourself because how much we give will depend on how much we receive from a God who  never changes.

“Seize the power of God’s presence today. Let us give our lives totally to the hands of God, and not worry for the future for He will not abandon us.” ––St Simon Likas SOCCOM

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