By: Angela Noelle M. Encarnacion 11- HUMSSLast July 1, 2017, a group of Bridgetines, a couple of teachers, and myself attended an event in Smart Araneta Coliseum, not knowing that we would experience an afternoon of listening, singing and dancing accompanied by feelings of excitement, understanding, love and pure happiness.
The event, Relentless: Singles & Youth Faith on Fire (SYFOF) 2017, was hosted by The Lord’s Flock Catholic Charismatic Community. It started off by acknowledging the different dioceses and communities present, followed by the Welcome Remarks of the founder of the community, which included a recall of past conferences and how they were conducted in various places.Afterwards, there was a video presentation and a discussion on the difference between human love and Godly love, with the speaker stating that humans may get tired of loving but God’s eternal love will live on.
Later on, the Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, Reverend Honesto Ongtioco, talked about the Good Samaritan, with a wish that the youth of today would also help those in need. Recalling the story of the lost sheep, he exhorted the youth to focus on God’s relentless love in times of great pain. This was a segue to the short play, Rescue, which showed the journey of a man who lost his way but Jesus stayed with him despite everything. It was Jesus’ relentless love which saved the man. It gave a touching message of love, forgiveness, and hope.
This was followed by games, praise and worship, and sharing of personal journeys towards God’s relentless love. The latter touched the hearts of many of us since the stories were real-life narratives of pain and suffering like poverty, sickness, suicide, and wrong love. It was the support of the Lord’s Flock community, which set them free from their situations and turned them into witnesses of God’s relentless love.
More activities were done throughout the day. These all focused on knowing God more as our Father who never gets tired of loving us no matter what the situation is. One noteworthy segment was Word on the Street, wherein our questions about God were answered by a group of young adults and a priest. We were enlightened by the wisdom these people shared. As students, we gained more knowledge about our religion and beliefs.
Another memorable activity was the praise and worship part.. Songs by Hillsong were used to give it a fun and energetic vibe. During this time, we all sang and danced to express our love for God. Later on, the songs became more solemn, and we began to use our mobile phones as flashlights to create a star-like effect in the dark coliseum. It was evident that the song and the place filled with stars touched the hearts of many and made us worship God even more.
Afterwards, there was the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on stage. We showed our great reverence by raising our hands in the air and bowing our heads. Unfortunately, the event extended beyond the time stated in the programme, so our delegation had to leave before Archbishop Chito Tagle delivered his talk.
At the end of this experience, we all had peaceful bliss written on our faces, and the feeling of being loved in our hearts. The next time that such an opportunity arises, I would definitely encourage my fellow Bridgetines to take part in it so that they, too, would be able to experience this wonderful journey of God’s relentless love.