Looking back to all my years of formation at Saint John's Seminary, I think the biggest change in me has been to become more authentically human like Christ. Most of the time, we do not realize it but due to a constant flux of media, news, trends, etc, we start seeing people, events and relationships as “the new thing to talk about.” In other words, we see them as products or means toward an end.
Sometimes we may think, I will be friends with this person because he or she has/is/does (fill in the blank) for me. When in fact, friendships are not primarily for our own good but for theirs. I am friends with this person because he or she is good, not because he or she agrees with my views or is anything else fir me but because they are good. Social media may polarize us and, to an extend, it determines how human we are to others. Social media messages sometimes determine the reason why we like or do not like someone. For instance, it determines whether we are friends or not with someone who opposes our views because social media says they are evil people.
Our dignity as human beings does not come from our sexuality, political views, philosophy, etc, our dignity comes from God who became human, hence, we have the perfect model of humanity. Looking back through all these years of formation, that has been my biggest change and biggest challenge to overcome; To see people for who they truly are, sons and daughters of God even when they oppose our views; To be more human like Christ. Just, Good & Merciful. A constant call to change our ways but at the same time a constant reminder that even when we sin He still loves us.
Reflection by: Fr. Fernando Ayala, Class of 2021
Archdiocese of Boston