Recollection creates greater desire to encounter Jesus daily

Part of the ‘40 Day Mission’ (November 1 – December 10, 2017) of the Parish of St Theresa was the Advent recollection for youths and adults.

Jan 12, 2018

By Francis Ong
Part of the ‘40 Day Mission’ (November 1 – December 10, 2017) of the Parish of St Theresa was the Advent recollection for youths and adults. The youths had their recollection on December 2. The Mandarin-speaking youths were under the guidance of Fr Terence Wee CSsR, while the English-speaking youths were under Fr Robin Lomangkok CSsR.

The Adults had their Advent recollection the following week, on December 9. Fr Eugene Lee CSsR took charge of the Mandarin-speaking adults while Fr Patrick Massang CSsR guided the English-speaking group. Seventy-four persons participated in the recollection by Fr Patrick.

Fr Patrick assisted us through story telling and, specifically, with personal stories. He is a prolific story teller who shares himself generously from family life to religious vocation and experience in Dalat, Sabah. With much humour, he shared his life experiences, his encounter with God/being encountered by God and the defining moments which altered the direction of his life.

Thus, his focus on the ‘first E-Encountered’ took flesh as we listened to his story of life and faith, assisting us to see the reality of ‘God Presence’ in our own history. This points to the reality that God is interested in the very minute and mundane details of our lives. He knows and cares about what is happening to each one of us.

We were given time to personalise our own encounter with God through sharing, in small groups, the question “What is your encounter with God that changed the direction of your life?” One could sense that many had a lot to share on how God had touched our lives in a real and deep way.

After lunch, Fr Patrick focused on ‘E-Evangelising.’ Again, through power point pictures on scenes that speak a thousand words, he shared his personal stories on evangelising. These enabled us to see and realise the vast field and opportunities to evangelise in our own environment. He also shared the many challenges he faced in his attempt to live his faith, in being a witness and a missionary of Christ Jesus. His practical approach and the use of his musical talent for God is very inspiring. His ability to be down to earth, his reading of the signs of the times and prudence in action in unveiling Christ to others, is a good model to follow. He was also conscious of the limits imposed by the law of our country. Yet, he is able to be creative in sharing the Good News of Jesus to people in the neighbourhood. He lived his discipleship through engagement with different sectors of the community: civil, religious and tribal — an approach that is gradual yet purposeful` for God’s Kingdom.

Again, we were given time ‘to own’ how we live as ‘disciples of Christ’ in small groups. We were given another question — “Share three things that show you are a disciple of the Lord Jesus?” The Advent recollection created in us a greater desire to be encountered daily by Jesus and to recognise the many different ways that he is reaching out to each one of us. ‘Encounter’ will ultimately leads us to witness and to evangelise. In evangelising, we, too, are being evangelised.

It was a refreshing time with our gracious and loving God. We ended with wishing God’s abundant graces and blessings on Fr Patrick as he celebrates 32 years serving in the vineyard of the Lord.

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