On Choosing

It’s my Confirmation Day.

After 25 years of saying yes to the Lord when I was a wee babe, I now renew my vows to Him based on a conscious and active, more mature choice.

“Ikakasal ka ba, Doctora?”

A question to which I couldn’t withhold my laughter. Funny how the elder women of the PGH Chapel speculate on the reason of my “late” confirmation.

“Hindi po, nakalimutan lang ako ng mga magulang ko,” I say with a smile.

Sometimes I am so tempted to just smile at them and nod, just for the heck of it. (Out of the five Villa kids, I am the only one who haven’t undergone the sacrament yet.)

I honestly expected a whiff of what Jesus experienced when He was baptized: the heavens opened, the clouds cracked to reveal such fullness of light, and God’s voice booming like the thunder saying, “this is my beloved daughter, with whom I am well pleased,” a dove descending in all its glory, my John the Baptist (the presiding Most Reverend) pulling me from the waters of the heart’s holiness in which I was submerged…

None of those happened. At least not exactly what I was expecting to happen.

Instead, we arrived late. For me it was late, for my mother and brother who acted as proxies, we got there with plenty of time still. Those who were being confirmed must be in the Chapel by 8am. We arrived 830am. (For me, late) But the practice ceremony didn’t start yet, note Filipino time. (For mom and bro, plenty of time).

I can remember a lot of little worrisome things, like my Baptismal Certificate has not arrived yet from the ancient holy annals of a church in Jaro, Iloilo (not a little thing when its absence can effectively ruin the validity of my Confirmation). Or when my brother suddenly have to go because of an upset stomach. When I remembered that I haven’t done my patient rounds yet for the day. When I stopped myself from telling my mom that my Littman stethoscope is stolen and she might pour another 2k worth of medicine merchandise for her daughter.

Joy is really precious. I have to protect it. Especially on the day I renew my Yes to God in the most important way.

And yes, despite the temporary unavailability of the Baptismal Certificate, I am boldly declaring and claiming it: I am finally Confirmed. Confeermed, so to speak.

All I ever pray for is this: May the Lord open ever wider His righteous gate to my heart, that I may receive Him and know Him ever more deeply, ever more genuinely, ever more into Him. (And to please help me in finding that Baptismal Certificate.)

*The homily of today’s anticipated mass was about choosing. Choice. What struck me was this: “Ang Diyos hindi namimili. Hindi namimilit.”