This month, Jacob Ramos presents us with a brief look at his journey as he prepares to be called by Bishop Cote to ordination as a Transitional Deacon on May 27, 2021. Please keep Jacob and all of our seminarians in your prayers.
- Father Greg Galvin
Recently, I was meditating on the times in scripture when men called by the Lord responded, “Here I am.”
This phrase, “Here I am,” is a translation of hineni and has richer meaning than a simple response. Early on in my journey following the Lord, I was responding to a call. In the depth of prayer, through the encouragement of faithful friends and family, the Lord was making clear that He wanted me to “come and see.”
This mysterious invitation required a response, some recognition that I had heard His call and was willing to hear Him out. This response to a call is one that has echoed from Abraham and Jacob, to Moses and Isaiah, all the way to Ananias in the Book of Acts; always their response was, “Here I am.”
Through the guidance of the priests and people of the Diocese of Norwich I was able to start Seminary in 2016 and said to the Lord, “Here I am.” This word though, hineni, can also be translated to mean “behold me.”
During the years of seminary formation, I have been constantly learning more about myself and the path Jesus has been leading me on. In this time of self-reflection and actualization I have done my best to reveal to the Lord and the Church who I am. That way, in full freedom and having stepped into the light of truth I could say to the Lord and the Church, “behold me”; this is Jacob Ramos, his faults and failings, his triumphs and joys, his striving after holiness by the grace of God.
In many ways this is something we all do in our vocations. Just as a man and woman continue to reveal who they are to each other as they are dating and in preparation for marriage, I was getting to know the Church and Christ’s call better. At the same time, I was also revealing more of myself to the Church. Spending time in parishes and getting to know the people of the Diocese of Norwich has been a great joy; getting to know more of you as you have gotten to know more of me.
Lastly this word, hineni, can mean “yes,” a total affirmative response. It is in the last meaning that with great joy I wrote our Bishop, petitioning him to be able to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. By first saying “Here I am,” Jesus took me on an adventure of following Him. Just like those disciples called in Galilee, I have had the privilege of learning from the Lord and growing in relationship with Him during these years of seminary.
Now, confident that the Lord is calling me to the transitional diaconate, and God willing the priesthood, I can say “yes” to all that such a call entails. Jesus is so good to us and loves each of us with unconditional love. Whenever we hear His call, may we always respond with our whole hearts saying, “Here I am, behold me, yes!” Rest assured of my prayers for all of you and please keep me in yours.