"'like one of your hired hands [Luke 15:19]." This response of the lost son in Luke has become a guiding principle in my response to God's calling. On the one hand, it crystallizes the meaning of service for me. On the other, it shows the depth of God's love.
I would consider my calling as nothing extraordinary. In fact, it is a simple one. There are no imposing signs which I could categorize as special. All I knew was to play basketball and chess and paint. I have taken the sport so seriously that I even skipped meals just to play the game and be with my friends. Such was my passion that I even intended to make chess a living.
But my plan is not God's. I realized that everything has already been laid out for me and all was part of His plan. He used my feebleness to His gain. When accepting the invitation of my classmates to a three-day visit to the St Francis Xavier College Seminary, in Davao City, I found out there were lots of basketball courts inside and the seminarians play almost every day during their sports time. That made me interested.
After passing the entrance exam, I decided to try the seminary life for a year at the age of 16, and the year became years. But one thing I realized, God was slowly preparing and forming me to become not an athlete but a servant of His vineyard.
I finished my AB Philosophy degree and MA in Theology in 10 years all together, not including my pastoral and work assignments. But of course, the journey was not easy for it was long and winding. There were intermittent events along the way that have influenced my future decisions. I was admitted into the Military Ordinariate while finishing my theology at San Carlos Graduate School of Theology, Manila.
The experience was challenging, since I was trained to be a priest with a view to becoming a Military Chaplain. As I was about to graduate in theology, I discerned and prayed if this would be the life that God was leading me into.
Again, God hears my cry, like the psalmist used to pray. After much time spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament everyday, I decided not to pursue the vocation in the military service and instead applied to the Diocese of East Anglia.
To be accepted by the Diocese and be ordained as a Deacon by the Bishop Alan is, for me, the will of God. To serve the Diocese with utmost devotion and steadfast generosity will be my lifelong commitment.
Pictured above is Jaylord Magpuyo at his ordination. See below for a full picture gallery.