Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
On April 1-4, we had our Easter recollection for the teens. The theme for this year was " There's no greater love than this," and our theme song, "No Greater Love," was sung by one of the teens, Angel Paguia. We played games, listened to songs, listened to talks, and learned about God and many of us enjoyed the time we had during the Recollection. We all enjoyed the recollection and felt really happy. The Holy Week Recollection was amazing and nice and I really liked it because I learned a lot of things and I enjoyed the games, trivias, and talks. I learn that God's love is not like human love because God's love is unconditional while human love may disappear from us. Holy Week is not only for external activities but it is also about the love that gives meaning to it all. One of our teens, Eunice Rama shares her testimony to us:
“Sometimes we are ashamed of who we are, but only a person who sacrifices you knows your true worth. God's love will never leave us and Jesus never stop find us even in the darkness. One passage that helped me during the recollection was: ‘The lord says, your thoughts are not like my thoughts your ways is not like my ways.’ (Isaiah 55:8) I understood that Jesus’ love is stronger than our challenges, and he gives us new life! Then it was said to us that, "Mission is the best way to pay it forward," so we have many chances to give God's love to other people, when other people help us, embrace us, loves us the only thing that God wants us to do is to pay it forward by being a missionary of life in our own little ways. Jesus made us a question during the recollection: "Do you understand how much I love you?” And my answer to this question was: “Yes Lord I understand your love for me because I can feel it the way you bless me, you give me happiness, and by giving me a family and love. And I know that God will never stop loving me until I die. That was the testimony of one of our teens, Eunice Rama.
To sum it up all, the Easter Recollection was a fun and peaceful experience to everyone even if it was only held online, it was still successful and it helped us to get closer to God.
Tim Cain from Verbum Dei England shares with us his experience in participating in Daily Shots Season 6, which has just ended.
When Margarida invited me to join a Daily Shot team, to make a reflection on the readings for the Day, I accepted happily but later, started to get a bit anxious. What if the readings said nothing to me? What if they didn’t relate to my life experiences? What if my life experiences were simply too boring to share with people? Fortunately, a solution soon came to me. When we were involved in the Married Couples group in England, I always gave talks with my wife, Ann. We prepared these talks together and, when I was not inspired at all, she helped me and vice-versa: when she was struggling, I helped her. So I asked the missionaries in charge of the Daily Shot, ‘could I do this with my wife?’ and of course, they agreed.
And as we began to prepare for our first Daily Shot together, we started, for the first time, to really pray together. In the past, we had prayed family prayers with our children – thanking God for the good things that had happened during the day – and later, when the children grew up and left home, we prayed the Office of the Day together, but now we prayed the gospel reading of the day, in order to give to other people. We asked the Holy Spirit to inspire us – we asked him what he wanted us to say to the listeners. We tried to listen to God and then we shared together what we had prayed. What was new about this was that I now knew what Ann was praying to God and vice-versa. And through praying together, we have become closer to one another.
We often hear people in the Verbum Dei community say that, when their prayer is something to be preached, it is more fruitful because God’s word is not only for us. And this is something we have found to be true, through our contribution to the Daily Shots.
We invite you to listen to the new season of Daily Shots through our website. The Shots are also available in Spotify, Apple Podcast, or Google Podcast. You can also join the WhatsApp or Viber groups to receive the reflections daily.
The Verbum Dei Tagaytay disciples had the possibility to facilitate a one-day face to face Lent Recollection to the 12 staff of one Center for abused girls in Cavite.
The recollection was held at the Verbum Dei Retreat House last March 14, 2021. With the theme: “God’s love renews us.” This was drawn from the Lenten message of Pope Francis to a call for renewal.
It started with a mass together with our neighbors, after the mass Ofel one of the disciples welcomed the participants preparing them to dispose themselves with attitudes that can help them have a fruitful and grace-filled experience of the power of God’s love that can bring renewal.
Lucille another disciple preached the second talk on God the Father. Sharing with strong conviction on the love of the Father that has sustained her difficult and challenging journey in life. God’s love has not only sustained her but has also changed her relationship with her family and also a powerful experience of reconciliation and forgiveness with her biological father. “Mountains and hills may crumble but God’s promise of faithfulness remains.” (Cf Isaiah 54:10)
The third talk was given by Rachel a Verbum Dei Missionary in Tagaytay, the sharing was focused on the question: Who is my neighbor? Our neighbor are the concrete people that God has placed on our way each day. Our love for God can be shown in a practical way to our neighbor, to the person close to us and those far from us. Our love for God is not separated with our love for our neighbor. We were challenged to let Jesus renew us on our way of loving the persons around us and to learn from the way how he loved us. It was indeed a renewal of our concept of what perfect love is, it entails a compassionate heart that stoop down where our neighbor is and not running away from them especially when they need most the help.
Renewed by the power of God’s love, we can make a difference in our world. Alice also a disciple shared on her talk that we are sent to tell the world of the love we received and experience from God.
The whole day was indeed a gift of renewal, some participants shared the experience of coming back to God, being reconciled and forgiven and also renewed on their faith and hope in the midst of the difficult situations due to the pandemic. God’s love renews us with a new perspective of hope, faith and love in facing this challenging time. His love brings newness to the way we see the people and situations that surrounds us!
Last March 27, 2021, the VD Youth of Tagaytay together with Sister Rachel, had a Lenten outreach to abused girls in one Center located at Gen. Trias, Cavite.
On this outreach we had a one whole day recollection with our theme "HOPE NEVER FAILS." A total of 37 teenage girls participated this event accompanied by two social workers of the Center. We started at 8 am until 4 in the afternoon.
As a team we worked together putting our part to make the whole day recollection a worthwhile experience for all the teens.
My part was to welcome the participants and with an enthusiastic spirit, I introduced them to our theme sharing to them that HOPE has a face! And we need this HOPE in all the different situations we encounter in life. This HOPE we are going to experience is already in us, it has been poured out to us since ever before. “Romans 5:5.
The whole day was packed with different surprises like creative dynamics and moment of silence to pray and a fun-filled games. All the teens were very participative and expectant in every moment waiting what will come next.
We listened to a video recorded testimony of one teen from Cebu about what is our hope and why we need hope, and Sr. Rachel gave a catechesis on "Jesus is our Hope, we need to connect with Him!”
What was very helpful on this day was the penitential rite we had. It was a moment to go deeper on ourselves recognizing our sinfulness and entering to an experience of God’ mercy and loving embrace. This moment had a strong impact to all of us, some of the teens shared it helped them to be reconciled with God and they recognized his unconditional love and unfailing hope is always ready to welcome them back.
We end the recollection with a very visual symbol of hope that gives new life and this hope needs to be nurtured and taken care. The teens with their respective groups planted a plant in a pot and were very happy to realize from this symbol that Hope is ever present in them and they need to give time to nurture and let it grow and flourish. Our Hope is Jesus and he promise to remain with us until the end of time and he never fails on his promise!
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