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“Live with Passion”, the theme for the annual Verbum Dei Easter Encounter for Luzon was held on April 6-9, 2023 in the Reparatrix Sisters retreat house in Tagaytay. Eleven missionaries from the three missionary branches facilitated the event while a total of 105 participants, 38 adults and 67 of the youth attended. The successful turn-out was evidence that things are back to so-called pre-pandemic times. The participants could not contain their enthusiasm and passion in this Triduum Easter encounter. The collaborative efforts by both male and female missionaries from Manila, couples missionaries from Cebu and some lay members of the community made the encounter so fruitful. Each group was tasked to give a talk or guideline or lead a prayer dynamic.
The encounter started on Holy Thursday when attendees were asked to reflect on the driving force of their lives and how to live that life with passion. On Good Friday, the participants were awakened by this experience of love by Christ which led him to the cross - a love with passion. After pondering on how the quality of the life and the love of Jesus is a life and love filled with passion. As a response of the passionate love of Jesus, the participants, reflected and prayed the Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross on this day.
On Holy Saturday, the group was then made aware of the obstacles that prevent from living life fully. It is only living a life with Jesus can one conquer with passion this darkness in life. To motivate each participant to continue the journey towards the goal with Mama Mary who always accompany us especially in the most difficult moments, the Via Crucis or the Way of the Light was done with dynamics and testimonies. To deepen in the experience of Encounter, Easter Triduum was also commemorated starting from Maundy Thursday’s washing of the feet, Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday to the Easter Vigil on the night of Holy Thursday. Catechism was also given to help the attendees have a better understanding of the Paschal Triduum celebrations.
Immediately after the Easter Vigil, a fiesta was celebrated with joy in everyone’s heart. Having this new life with Jesus was meant to be shared to others and to share it with passion. The participants were then encouraged to persevere and continue serving the Lord. Sharing of fruits per community followed. The encounter culminated with the glorious celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Easter Sunday. It was a Resurrection moment for many as they felt that the encounter was truly life-changing.
Experiencing the love of God through Christ’s Resurrection inspired the participants to live, love, conquer, and share with Passion the mission of Christ.*
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