Today, we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent in the new liturgical Year A. Advent is the period of preparation and prayer, awaiting the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day. In the liturgical Year C, a lot happened in my faith story written so far. The list of events is very long. Easter vigil 2013 was the best. My fellow elects and I – Joshua, Shermaine, Charlene and Maximilian – were baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. After this, three of us – Joshua, Shermaine and I – were also confirmed to be messengers of Christ. After our rebirth, all five of us went our separate ways. Joshua also known as Jeremiah after our baptism and I rejoined RCIY.
I had always wanted to rejoin RCIY as a sponsor as I had been inspired by my own sponsors. I did not know that it would make my life more busy with all our other priorities around us such as studies. I remember that time when Josephine showed a video to my RCIY batch. I saw Jude, my godfather. In the video, I found out that he had served in church from a very young age. He started as an altar server then and rose all the way till he joined the RCIY as a sponsor , and to the person I know now. Through all his faith life, he had some moments of regret – not leading his life in a more relaxed manner, and also not spending enough time with his family and friends. Now he is the current president of the Catholic Students’ Apostolate in NTU.
Now I really have to release my frustration in this article. Being a Sponsor in church or even a catechist is really tiresome work. While it is tiresome, we give glory to God and spread the Good News to those who desire it. Sometimes, my parents will tell me, ” Dear ah, you today go church already, then tomorrow you still have to go again?” My answer everytime is Yes. After spending half of my Saturday to be with the catechumens in church, I spend another two hours of my Sunday to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Then Sunday evening comes, and boom! it’s Monday again and the week starts with another five days of school. This cycle repeats itself. The weeks become routine. Busy weeks and not much time for rest.
However, like my godfather Jude, I am thankful for God’s grace which always prevents us from going astray. For me, especially,an ITE student, I can be very prone to the wiles of Satan. At times I am even tempted to admit that I am being distracted more than everyone else. On some days, I find myself filled with only negative energy. Anger, Malice, Hatred, Vengeance. On those days, I would feel like the whole world is against me – how I look, my eczema and allergies. Whenever that happens, I would often try my very best to keep my cool but remain wary. Even worse, I would think that even my closest friends, my very own church friends, are against me. Even now, I am suffering from this turmoil . Devil, again. One week after the end of school, surely I have to get rid of the frustration I had with schoolwork and some idiotic classmates of mine. It is always through God’s grace that I stay away from temptation.
The sense of brotherhood and bonding with my friends at RCIY keep me coming back; otherwise I would just stay at home and do whatever the hell I would like to do that day. I sacrifice my time just for them, and even though some do not come, I still turn up to be with those who are present. I’ll be honest about this now – Of all my catechumens, Dominique is my ‘favoured’ catechumen as he is always punctual. His attendance is perfect and he has participated in all our RCIY events. I really do hope and pray for my other catechumens that they would follow his example. All of them so far have shown much progress. May God give me strength to remain ever faithful to him and not stray away from him. May he release me from Satan’s evil grasp and strengthen my bonds with my family and friends. Amen.