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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Family Life Recollection: God’s love

By Julita Kantod

Holy Trinity Parish Tawau: 17 members of the Family Life Ministry hold their short recollection on 24th February with the theme "God's Love".
Recollection began with an hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel guided by Sr. Julita Joseph (FSIC), religious sister in the Family Life ministry of Holy Trinity Tawau.  The Adoration began with an invitation of the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire all participants throughout the recollection. 
In her sharing, Sr. Julita quoted from the gospel of Mathew 5:43-48 about love, forgiveness and acceptance.
"You are matured and steadfast in your faith, what else do you need?" A question addressed to all the participants to reflect on. "You have experienced His love, forgiveness and acceptance, but along the way, you have not escaped from falling into temptations which lead to sin, namely, the sin of hatred, rejection, self-love and pride. Lent season is a special opportunity for you and me to reflect on how I, personally, understood God's love in my life and to return to God. A positive retrospection can humbly bring us back to Him to ask for forgiveness and mercy. This time of refreshing is important to be strengthened and renewed to continue serving  as lay people, parents, friends, as a spouse and as children of God" she said.
In the chapel, the participants spent their time with the Lord in silence whilst offering their personal intention to God. After the Adoration, all participants proceeded to the Conference room for the next session.
Mario Domingo, the Family Life Chairman, expressed his gratefulness to God for His unceasing guidance and grace to this ministry “God gives His love freely and unconditionally, therefore, He expects us to do the same to others. God, being a generous Giver, will surely reward us. Our consolation is in bearing good fruits, personally, and the fruits of others for the edification of the Church" he said. He also thanked all the members for their full support and contribution to the Ministry.
Recollection continued with a brief slide presentation on the work done as a team delivered by Julita "The journey we experienced as a family were out of good intention, humility and with sincerity. We worked tirelessly by contributing our energy, time, money, and at times, having to face the risk and unreasonable complaints. However, we also experienced joy, and laughter in our friendship which keep us going. We are undeterred to help other families because we know that as we serve the church and the parishioners, the commendation is solely from Him. I believe that our prayers and perseverance are not hidden from God that is why we are still here to continue to serve” she said.
Later, Sr. Julita explained on the Power of Prayer: Unless you personally, experienced, nourished and strengthened in your prayer life, then you can share as a witness. You are not empty. In fact, you are filled with His gifts. These gifts lead you to the maturity of your faith. Indeed, without you realizing it, somehow, you are looked up as a model to other couples and indirectly inspired them to strive to be better as well.
All your patience, perseverance and serenity are the gift rewarded to you for your prayers and devotion to God. Prayer, therefore, makes us all strong to continue our commitment in our service and to endure all the hardships.  Prayer is also the food for our soul which sustains our faith. It is an act of surrendering oneself to His Omnipotence and acknowledging our own nothingness, so much dependent on his grace "she said. 
Sr.Julita ended her input by reminding them of God's fidelity to all sinners. Although, your determination to come to the assistance of others who are in need does not always run smoothly, continue to believe and hope to God because the power of prayer can strengthen you.
Here are a few personal sharing based on their reflection:  God's love is the key to succeed in the ministry of service. Seek God first, before others, when you stumble. Jesus' love is the pillar of all life situations. By looking at Him on the cross, I realised that ours cannot be compared to the suffering experienced by Christ Jesus. Forgiveness is difficult; but knowing how many sins, Jesus has paid for me is a humbling experience. Jesus' examples of humility, kindness and self-sacrifice continue to be the inspiration in the Family Life ministry.
The “Our Father" prayer concluded the recollection at 1.30 in the afternoon, followed by lunch.

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