Last week was especially uncertain for me as I saw my friends off; they went to complete their studies in the United States. This is possible through a program that allows final year students to finish their studies in an overseas setting. I chose to finish my studies locally and I hope it works out well for me. I like to be at the airport but I always felt that longing of being the one on the plane. I guess perhaps the next time then.
I also attended the Jason Evert talk on 14 January 2017 which was titled,”Finding Love That Lasts”. It was a talk on chastity, love and taking into consideration the spiritual aspect in a relationship. I went there with an open mind despite me not being well (My health has been bad). It is a blessing that the Archdiocesan Commission for Family (ACF) took great efforts to organize this event and even upgraded the event space due to overwhelming response to the Max Pavilion.
I am glad to see many young Catholics from different communities and Churches taking the opportunity to attend these talks (Yes, there was more than one talk) and knowing more about dating and marriage in the context of the Catholic faith. Even more important that the union of two people in marriage is also a vocation which is a calling. I found the speaker, Jason Evert, to be entertaining but yet having the ability to speak hard truths surrounding love and marriage as it is a commitment of a lifetime.
Though it can be a challenging topic to understand, Jason Evert and his team have created the Chastity Project which is an online website that has tons of resources such as articles on many questions surrounding dating and marriage.
The gospel of the week opens by saying,“John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,”Behold, the Lamb Of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, “A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.” I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be known to Israel.” John testified further, saying,”I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God”(John 1:29:34).
Sin is a recurring problem in today’s society and has become rampant in the lives of many. But Jesus has come to give us solace and comfort that He alone can take away our sins by absolving us through the Sacraments and His endless mercy. Whenever we fall into sin, we must look to the Holy Spirit for guidance and protection from the snares of sin. Also, we need to remember that through our baptism, we are renewed again when we take the first step to seek renewal by turning away from sin. Jesus will guide us to the waters of renewal only if we are truly repentant and remorseful. Are we able to acknowledge Jesus as our Savior for the new year and beyond?
May we continue to pray for each other and also to keep our Pope’s intentions for January in our prayers.“That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.”
I would like to end this sharing with a song titled “Beautiful Life” by Corrinne May who opened the Jason Evert talk by performing a few songs. She also spoke about her own experiences in watching her daughter grow up and it is a reminder for me that when there are moments of darkness and sin, Jesus is not far from me.
“It’s a living every moment
Like it could be our last
For our hearts are restless til they rest in love’s caress
In the moments we remember
They interweave our hearts
Like a tapestry surrounding us, that we forget to touch
That’s why we wake up every morning
It’s why we seek each others’ smile
Its why we know that its so worth it
Its why we hold on and make the sacrifice
Its in the eyes of a child
As you hold her in your arms
And your heart starts to beat once again
And your world is reborn
In the freshness of her song
Smile, it’s a beautiful life
Its in the hope of the poor man
As he struggles to make ends meet
Its in the laughter of his children
As they play in the street
Don’t need a million dollars
To raise a happy child
Just need a pair of loving arms
The time to make her smile
Its in the tears of our friend
As you finally make amends
And your song starts to breathe once again
And the way of the world
Falls away with one word
Smile, it’s a beautiful life
Its in the touch of her lips
As she leans in for a kiss
And your world starts to spin once again
And two hearts become one
As a dream has begun
Smile, it’s a beautiful life”
Please wait for me Jesus even though I may fall time and time again, and though I may seem lost and despondent, I will always come back to you, because true love waits.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong