April Part 2: The rebirth of Christ’s new disciples

Part 1 was a personal account for this month: my 18th birthday on 22nd April, the coming of age and how all males of age 18 have to be enlisted for NS. In Part 2, I want to say more about my birthday, the rebirth of God’s very own disciples, the Elects that are going to get baptized and confirmed at Easter Vigil 2014.

Indeed, it is a wondrous occasion for everyone, whether catholic/Christian, unbaptized and baptized, for whenever we see the elects join us through the waters of baptism, we just want to rejoice with them. They have their original sins washed away, breaking the shackles of Satan’s grasp. Every defeat of the Devil and his minions is a victory for God and his Church. When witnessing their baptism, we remember and recall our own baptisms (maybe not if you were baptized as an infant), and I say this as those of us who can recall should do so. We will all renew our baptismal vows  like married couples and we thank God for his faithfulness. We renew our vows to God. We renounce Satan, his evil works and all his empty promises. To God be the glory!

I delight in the fact that God the Holy Trinity, Father,  Son and Holy Spirit, loves us. Our Lord Jesus came to live among us, to save us from sin and death by sacrificing himself on the cross. Glory to our Lord!  Faith assures us of his love and we know that he will be the one to judge us. He desires that his children be received into his kingdom to spend eternity with him.  He himself came down!  Imagine, if we could go back in time to actually talk to Jesus! What an experience!

Today I can do the same. I can pray to Him. In John 14:15-31, Jesus tells us,

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.   I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me;   but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.”

Aye, Jesus always keeps his word. Through personal experience really, my prayers have been answered but in God’s time (A long time). It might take months, years even for a right-intentioned prayer to be fulfilled. Other than praying to God for things, I thank him for the protection against the devil.

Easter comes after the witnessing of our Lord dying on the cross for our sins! His resurrection ensures our redemption! Aye, the remembering of his sacrifice, though painful, is honorable for the Lord and his people because it marks the defeat of Satan.

Each Easter marks the anniversary of our salvation and the defeat of Satan.His protection shields us from Satan’s evil tricks. Aye, all who enter the waters of rebirth die and are reborn to new life in Jesus Christ who sacrificed himself for our sins. Through baptism, we are marked by his sign that identifies us as his children. As God would say, ” You are mine and you shall return home to me.” Don’t we want to go home as quickly as we can? Through baptism and confirmation, we are then called to proclaim the good news to the world like how St Peter and the apostles did after receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We too become temples of the Holy Spirit.

The Easter Vigil is described as the Greatest of all Vigils. Indeed everyone will come to witness the rebirth of our new ‘baby’ brothers and sisters into our Worldwide family in communion with Christ Jesus. Family, Friends or just complete strangers, whether you’re familiar with them or not, will be a part of the Church. I remember last year in May during the recruiting of the now soon-to-be neophytes, I prayed to the Lord, ” Lord, grant us as many as people as you wish to gain on your own and we your faithful will do your will. Release them from the grasp of the evil one and show your mercy, love and compassion to them and all the others you want to claim as your own…..”

Oh Lord, I thank thee. Time really flies, from  the first session till now,  many events have taken place through this journey of RCIY or as I would say, through this journey of brotherhood and fellowship, preparing the elects for baptism and for the life-long road to salvation. The Journey, personally for me, has been too tiring due to my own personal packed school schedule. I had to attend to multiple commitments each week and the Devil tried to tempt me always, ” If God loves you, then  you need not go to church for he knows that you are tired and will forgive you.” While being subject to the temptation, I too have prayed. Jesus had told Satan off in the desert. I too told the evil one to get lost.  O Deceiver, you have tried many times to make me sin, but the Lord said, ‘ Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, I will give you rest.’ This is what He tells us, what He tells me. You are going to have to try harder than that, Satan!”

On Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross. Let us not forget why he sacrificed his mortal life for us. We now await the Vigil and then all present shall see the Glory of God.

 O Lord, we thank thee for having sacrificed your life for our sins. Easter Vigil will be a great day, Lord. I pray for a smooth process in the events to be held in the parishes in the whole of our Singaporean Archdiocese, and throughout the world in our universal Church, as we celebrate the birth of your children to join our church. I thank thee personally for the journey that I, my fellow sponsors and our elects and candidates have been travelling on. We await your resurrection on Sunday, Lord that we may rejoice and shout and proclaim to the World, ‘ Rejoice, the Lord has risen! He is the Risen Christ. Our Lord and Saviour, our King!’ Amen!

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