On Friday (21/11/2014), I attended mass at the Office for Young People(OYP) with my friends from SIM-CS as they turn one which is a significant milestone for them. SIM-CS also got our new society shirts which gave us an identity that we were proud to wear to Nox Gaudii to show our community’s unity.
OYP has grown from strength from strength in reaching out to young Catholics, renovating their premises and having programs to engage the young Catholics in Singapore.
Tonight’s turnout was not as packed as before due to the examination period, but no matter the reason, the most important fact was that we were gathered to pray, praise and worship Jesus, our Savior. Mass was celebrated by Fr Brian and other priests who came to lend their support. As per usual, it was praise and worship at first to thank Jesus for helping us get through life’s obstacles and to give us renewed strength.
We also were reminded that December marks the devotion to, “The Icon of Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation” and we are to look towards Mary for guidance and to spread the Good News to people as evangelists. This week I am glad that I survived and it marks the end of my semester in school which means no more assignments, but examinations to take. Even though I felt drained, being in a place with everyone praising Jesus, it gives me renewed strength that Jesus always finds a way, a light for us to make it out of life’s dark tunnels.
The Icon of Mary has a special place in my heart as when I was young, my parents would have the Mother Mary statue in our house that was making its rounds through the neighborhood and we would invite Catholic families to our house for rosary and fellowship. It gave me a timely reminder to pray and to keep praying for others, the world and myself that God will be present in the lives of people.
Fr Brian shared with the young people this: “A life to live, a life to give” which is a call for young Catholics to live out their lives of prayer, friendship and the spirit of giving to others which is our calling. Also, another important aspect would be to always seek forgiveness through reconciliation to heal our broken souls as it helps us heal our own wounds.
The young people that interned with OYP also shared with their journey in helping to organize events for the young people such as Nox Gaudii and to help them find Jesus again. It is inspiring that Jesus works through everyone to make use of our talents and gifts to reach out to others. He gives the young people at OYP the courage to share their testimonies and their personal encounter with Jesus. Next month after my examinations, I will be attending a first-ever 4-day university retreat with the rest of the other universities, and it is quite close to Christmas. I am both excited and anxious as the last Catholic camp that I attended was my Confirmation camp which was quite a while back.
Also, OYP shared with us through a retrospective video of their upcoming events which are the School of Witness and Treasure for young adults. It shows that the church wants the young people to be involved, even after Confirmation to strengthen their relationship with Jesus, as even when all else fails, He will never leave us in the lurch.
After attending, three Nox Gaudiis, I find that I am more aware of Jesus’s presence and prayer has helped me to keep my emotions at bay and to understand Jesus better. I hope that I will not lose sight of Jesus as we continue the journey on into the exam week and then to Advent. I would like to end this post with a song which is the finale praise and worship for this year’s last Nox Gaudii that tells of a God that is so great that He wants to know each one of us. The uplifting song is titled, “How great is our God” by Chris Tomlin.
“The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice
How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God”
“You are the Light of the world. A City Built on a Hill cannot be Hid” (Matthew 5:14), God Bless!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong