Nox Gaudii x Christ the King: Got Space? Make Room For the Lord

 

I am a few days late with this post because I have been busy with preparation of exams. Nonetheless, I have held Jesus even closer in these trying times. I was apprehensive that I would not have enough time to finish my revision and hesitated to attend the last Nox Gaudii (Night of Joy) held at the Office for Young People (OYP) of the year on Friday,18 November, 2016. But after a few moments of contemplation, I decided to attend as I have not been attending them for quite some time. I will also combine this posting with the gospel reading of that week.

The theme of the night was,“Enlarge The Place Of Your Tent, and Let the Curtains of your Habitations be Stretched Out”(Isaiah 54:2). Tonight’s preaching was by Fr Brian and I found myself reflecting on the word and also as young disciples of Christ of how we can share the word with others.

I often think of tents and camping together, the closest that I came to camping was during field camp in army. It was cramped as it was a shared tent but I was glad that I was not lying on the bare ground. I even made an effort to let my buddy sleep with more space. We took turns to ensure that our rifles were securely by our side. I think that a tent will be cozy and filled with warmth if we make the effort to show love to one another.

The gospel reading of the week marks the end of the ordinary time before Advent.“The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others,let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out,”If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him,”Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”(Luke 23:35-43).

Jesus sacrificed his life as a show of love and we are called to invite others into our tents for shelter and community. By giving to others, Jesus takes these and multiplies them just like he did with the 5 loaves and 2 fish. There will be plenty to go around. Christian life is not about materialism and not based solely on external actions. It must be from the deep desire of Jesus that channels into action. When God is the centre of our lives, his love and grace flow just like the clear springs in the forest trails.

When Jesus in our hearts, we continue to expand our hearts to God, just like the repentant criminal who accepted Jesus on the cross and was promised paradise with Jesus. It is important that we cultivate a culture of discipleship by:

  1. Prayer Time
  2. Reflect on the phrase or message in scripture
  3. Look to the sacraments (Sacrament of Reconciliation); they are the best spiritual food
  4. Attend daily or weekly masses

Sometimes, I struggle with the mentality of “I don’t want to, but I have to” push and pull in picking the right and best option. To be intentional disciples, we need to share our life, resources (talents) and even time. We have only one life to live and one life to give. 

Our tent should be ready to welcome people and God where it grows to accommodate them. Jesus will never short change us even though the world always short changes us, be it with expectations, friendship and money. The question for us to ask ourselves is “What kind of life are we giving God?”

This week my group and I made the choice to channel the funds for Dolakha,Nepal of $255 to Charis because we were more comfortable and wanted to go through an official organisation with a home base in Singapore. The work that they have done in Dolakha is documented on Caritas Nepal website, which is affiliated to Charis through their annual reports and newsletters. Do continue to support the work that both the organisations do because 100% of the donations go to relief work and every cent, no matter how small, goes a long way to help in overseas disaster relief and humanitarian needs.

In the words of Pope Francis,“I believe it is a time for mercy. She does not wait for the wounded to knock on her doors. She looks for them in the streets, she embraces them, she takes care of them. She makes them loved.” “She” is referring to the Church as Jesus has shown mercy and compassion to us, so must we be to others.

I realise that the right decisions might be the unpopular ones but if it helps us to sleep easier at night then I am glad that I had made the decision. God Bless as we continue to pray for individuals to step forward to be beacons of light in the world.

I would like to finish this post with a song, “Don’t look back in Anger” by Oasis. Sometimes, we need to let go and let go of our external baggages and let the spirit guide us.

Thank you Jesus for showing me the way!

“Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you’d never been
But all the things that you’ve seen
Will slowly fade away

So I’ll start a revolution from my bed
‘Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside, summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

And so Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away, “But don’t look back in anger,” I heard you say

Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it’s night or day
Please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock ‘n’ Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away

Gonna start a revolution from my bed
‘Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside ’cause summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face
‘Cause you ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

And so Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger,” I heard you say

So Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger,” I heard you say

So Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger, don’t look back in anger.”
I heard you say, “at least not today.”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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