Homebound

This year’s Regional Youth Conference will be my 6th one and my heart can barely contain its excitement! The theme, Journey, immediately brought me into a state of reflection where the Lord revealed to me three things:

 

  1. In our personal journeys, Jesus meets us where we are at and calls us to something greater.

In last Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 24:13-35), we see two distraught men walking to Emmaus in order to flee the sorrow in Jerusalem. In the midst of their walk, Jesus meets them, consoles them and at the end of the journey, reveals Himself to them. In this one encounter, the two men are transformed and with hearts set ablaze they return to Jerusalem to tell the apostles.

It’s amazing how our darkest hours can give way to our most profound experiences of God’s love. We must, however, surrender ourselves completely to His will. In my journey, I remember a time when I struggled with forgiveness, a dark period when I carried resentment for others and held many pains to myself. In the midst of that chaos, I was brought to a retreat in where the Lord spoke these words:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matt 11:28

I later found myself in the confessional and with a heavy heart, I surrendered my baggage to Lord. Never was an experience of healing ever more timely and needed. It was a couple months after this conversion of faith that the Lord called me to serve as a Chapter Head.  The Lord is so good in that He does not reveal His love only when we are perfect. Like the men going to Emmaus, Jesus, in His love, intimately meets us in our brokenness and transforms us into something far greater than our wounds and insecurities.

 

  1. Though our journeys may differ, Heaven is our destination.

Each of us has our own story and each of us is called to serve the Lord in different ways. Yet, we all share a common call and destination: holiness and Heaven. In our journey, Christ molds us to become more like Him and draws us closer to become one with Him. We, who are made in His image and likeness, are destined for a greatness immeasurable by earthly standards. Wherever we are in our faith, let us rest assured it is Christ who we truly desire; we were not made for anything less than Heaven.

“Our Hearts are Restless Until They Rest in You” – St. Augustine of Hippo

 

  1. We are not meant to journey alone.

One of the biggest blessings that has helped me grow in faith is the gift of my household. Together, we have witnessed each other grow and have challenged each other to serve more excellently those entrusted to us. My household, chapter and the brothers and sisters of this region are a constant reminder that I am not alone in my journey. Parish priests, religious sisters and catechists also serve to remind me that I also belong to the greater Holy Catholic Church: the mystical Body of Christ. It is evident that Christ has blessed us with people to guide us; moreover, He calls us to do the same for others.

 

This RYC I look forward to encountering Christ in worship, reflection and in my brothers and sisters who will be attending. In all I do, I will surrender to Him my desires and pray: “Lord, reveal to me your plans and give me the grace to take the first step.”

This weekend, over 700 youth will come together to praise and worship God; a foretaste of the joys of Heaven. I pray this RYC will serve to spur us onward in our quest for holiness. May God give us the grace necessary to persevere in faith and bring others along to the place He has prepared.

Our hearts are meant to be with the Lord. Together, let’s lead each other Home.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” – Romans 15:13

 


Jarwin Sangalang – West 1 Chapter Head | CFC-Youth Pacific Region