LAST Wednesday morning, my good friend Melba Gabuya, RN, MN, reminded me that we would be meeting Father Jboy Gonzales S.J. for lunch and coffee. My initial concern was whether I would be able to comfortably eat while sitting down with one of the brilliant Jesuit priests.
Various thoughts played in my mind, but my response was that I would try, as I needed to finish academic reports and tasks.
However, in truth, I felt that disturbing anxiety.
When Melba followed up at 12:30 noon, it seemed as if God whispered, “You will enjoy, and there will be many surprises.” With that, my mindset abruptly changed, and within 15 minutes, I found myself on the tenth floor.
Fr. Jboy greeted us with a warm smile, making me feel better. As I entered the dining area, I felt nervous again upon seeing Fr. Karel S. San Juan, S.J., the University President. Yet, when Fr. Karel called my name, it was so welcoming, and gradually, I became more at ease. And I felt more comfortable when Fr. Ogie Cabayao. S.J. also welcomed us with a big smile.
So, here comes the lunch experience – of course the meal was sumptuous, I cannot forget the sweet macaroons and chocolate cookies, it was heavenly to eat, with unforgettable taste! As we were having a conversation with Fr. Jboy over a coffee, I realized how deep are his thoughts, every word he uttered. Wow! I learned much about the beauty of life prompting me to do deep contemplation. And yes, many times I have heard Fr. Jboy’s homilies, and I would always say that all is soul quenching. I do not know, but I feel that Jesus is speaking to me directly.
Actually, the stories Fr. Jboy shared about his life before embracing the path of a Jesuit priest remained vivid in my memory. These narratives included his invitations from God and the transformative encounters that convinced him his life was destined for the service of God. It is a testament to how God can communicate with us all, guiding everyone toward the most meaningful ways to serve others in His name. The encounters of Father Jboy were full of mysteries, and I was deeply moved when he shared about “Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
Well, in my dreams, I have always seen myself in the academe. Most of my childhood memories were of using our home walls as blackboards and standing on a big stage, fascinated by many people listening to me. Oh, God truly speaks to us in images and our dreams.
Finally, we ended our wonderful lunch date with joyous hearts, serenaded by the passionate tunes played by Fr. Jboy on the piano. It was not just the beautiful melodious sound that resonated in the air — it was also the artistry when Father Jboy caressed the keys with elegance and deep expression. And further magnified by Melba delivering an exceptional song with a harmonizing voice flawlessly with Father Jboy’s piano melodies.
It was indeed a captivating symphony that lingered in my heart, leaving me with a feeling of appreciation for their artistic synergy and the enchanting ambiance they created.
When we sing about the life we have, we cannot simply hit the right notes or play the piano correctly. Remember that we need to allow ourselves to be guided by the greatest musician in the world, and that is God. Lastly, our reflections and inspirations also will help us unfold our deepest purpose in this world.