Saints Peter & Paul Major Seminary
Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria
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Sunday, January 13, 2019

The recollection of the month of January which is the first of the year 2019 was facilitated by Rev. Fr. Daniel Koumah, one of the spiritual directors with the theme “Signs of Contradiction” and this topic according to him stems from the event in the gospel of Luke 2:34 where Simeon sees Christ as a destined sign of contradiction. This also he said was the retreat topic of Karol Joseph Wojtyla when he preached the Lenten retreat of 1976 at the Vatican during the Papacy of Paul VI.

As evident and obvious the call and vocation to the sacred priesthood stands to be a sign of contradiction and whoever embraces this call becomes himself a sign of contradiction and this can be perceived from the reaction received from people ranging from family, friends and acquaintances. Therefore, a subtle embrace of this call charges for a life of sacrifice which also calls for a total examination of the prospects of this call which are contradictory to the world. This is the very reason why a life of recollection is important in this journey because we are living in a world that is against the Gospel of Christ and because we are men of the God we are meant to swim against the turbulent tides of the world which are fierce. In the Bible we see great men who stood as signs of contradiction – men like Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Stephen, and even the disciples of Jesus Christ and it was not easy for them. The only offence common to them all was that they stood for God and so stood as signs of contradiction to the world.

As seminarians in formation preparing for the sacred priesthood, we are also called to be men of prayer for everybody has his own shop, for as a Judge is expected to be at the law court, so also the doctor at the hospital and as such the seminarian or Priest is expected to always be in the presence of God for we are standing between the people and God and this should be eminently expressed in love, love for everybody; for the people of the world only love those who they want to love but as men of contradiction we are to love all. However, the vocation to the priesthood is to be treated with great care for when it falls even if it does not shatter to pieces, it cracks and it might be difficult to mend.As such, the Good News should be our manual of engagement and not the world. In all, the call to the sacred priesthood is a call to live a life of contradiction.


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