Seminarian Reflection | Dcn. Fernando Ayala - Saint John's Seminary
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Seminarian Reflection | Dcn. Fernando Ayala

December 14, 2020

Studying online, while being a deacon assigned to a parish, in the midst of a pandemic, has been challenging for me and for many. In addition to that, finals are just around the corner. When it comes to studying and writing papers, I tend to procrastinate until the very last minute. However, these new circumstances have taught me the value of planning ahead of time while remaining flexible enough not to break. Although it has been stressful, it has been an opportunity to reflect and enjoy this time of Advent.

There has certainly been time to enjoy a good laugh with the people around me; enough time to cook a meal together; enough time to be present to each other, to attend an anointing of the sick; enough time to minister to the poor; and enough time to pray & study. As we await in joy to the end of the semester, or the end of the year, or the end of the pandemic, so we await for our savior. Although it may seem dark at some points, there is always time for joy.

As I reflect on this, I realize that this is exactly what our blessed mother experienced 2,000 years ago. A 14 to 16 year old girl, who was called to be the mother of the savior of the world, a mother whose heart would be pierced by seven swords; a mother who would suffer persecution at the imminent threat of emperors wanting to kill her child. Yet, she is able to say, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my savoir.” Although, I am sure she had her own plans, she made her plans one with the will of God by saying yes; yes to what is to come, yes to the unknown and yes even to have the first Christmas on a simple and humble manger. She, after knocking on multiple doors, walking on dark roads and finding no place to stay, is welcomed to give birth to our savior in one of the most humble and simple ways. While being a deacon, studying, and being assigned to a parish, I have to come to experience the call to make my plans God’s plans and to be able to rejoice in the midst of uncertainty, just as our Blessed Mother did.