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For three Saturdays, from March 13 to 27, we had a series of youth online encounters entitled “You are loved.” A total of fifty (50) young people from age 16 to 24 joined the event and for the majority of them it was the first-time to meet the Verbum Dei community.
The first session was given by Gelo Balsita with the theme “You are loved.” Through his prayer and personal experience, he shared how God the Father loves us. Some of the participants expressed their gratitude to God that amidst the pandemic, He has been so generous and caring. One of the fruits also was to experience the unconditional and merciful love of the Father as we prayed the passage of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).
The guidelines on the second session were from James McTavish with a theme “You are love.” He shared to the youth that our truest and most profound identity is “love”. We were invited to “update” not only the application of our mobile phones but our faith! The idea of “investing” our time in important things such as to discover our real identity struck some of the youth. The youth also enjoyed the moment of prayer in silence which is yearned for during these challenging times.
The third session was an encounter with the Word themed “You are for love” guided by Jojo David. He shared with us that true happiness can be found in God. We were reminded that God is with us especially amidst loads of studies and being just quarantined in the house. Despite sometimes feeling lonely, God wants us to be happy. This reminds us of the prayer of young Jaime Bonet, “if you exist, make me happy”. One female participant powerfully shared that her joy comes not from material and external things but from her deep interior relationship with God.
Despite the range of ages, including both teenagers and youth, the environment of the encounter was light, joyful, meaningful, and the insights from both groups were enlightening. After finishing the series, some of them expressed their desires to continue having these kinds of encounters once or twice a month.
The Lord has been gracious to the youth during this time of Lent. We pray that these young men and women continue this path that they have begun, of knowing and creating a relationship with God through His Word. To join more youth online encounters, you may contact Gelo Balsita at firstname.lastname@example.org or 09615353162.
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