Catholic Youth Day 2019 (Part 1): Fullness of Life in Christ

By Johannes Tjendro

What am I living for? I believe most of us will have asked this question at least once in our lifetime.

Sometimes we hit a wall in our life and find it hard to move on. Other times, we scale the heights of worldly success, yet still feel a gnawing discontent in our heart. In both instances, we find it imperative to find a reason to live. 

For many young people serving in Catholic Youth Day (CYD) 2019, it is Jesus Christ who patiently waits for us to come home.

“My homecoming was in CYD 2016,” said Dion Nicole Seow, a 21-year-old dance choreographer for CYD 2019’s stage production. “I’m very excited to be in a different place, to have found new life in Jesus.”

The NUS Catholic Students Society member added that it is “a great honour to have this opportunity to proclaim Jesus with my new life this CYD”.

Dion (front) and some CYD dancers rehearse a dance piece about learning to trust God.

CYD will be held on Saturday, 20th July 2019, as a celebration of the Catholic faith for young people aged 16 to 35 in Singapore.

With the event being mere days away, preparations are in full swing for the nearly 300 young people serving in various service teams – ranging from administration, decoration and stage production, to logistics, F&B, liturgy and intercessory.

For Dion, it’s been a long time coming since she and the team began “throwing out some ideas” on how to relate God’s message through creative performance in April. However, being a Christ-centered enterprise, they still found time for fellowship with each other.

Over a supper of prata and iced milo, Dion shared that God still has more in store for her, even though it has been three years since her homecoming. 

“God is showing me that there’s a lot more that He wants to do for me – to bring me to fullness of life,” she said, after another evening of intense rehearsal.

Dion (3rd from right) shares a supper meal of prata and iced milo with fellow CYD service team members.

The rest of us listened attentively as we dipped our pratas in delicious fish curry. I had a feeling that we all shared her sentiment. I know I did. The CYD journey is a time of growth for me, as God reveals to me the many broken areas of my life that He is working to heal.

I pride myself in my skills as a performer and have put others down in the past for what I judged to be their incompetence. At the same time, I was constantly anxious about people’s judgment and would not be satisfied unless I was seen as the best performer on stage.

In CYD, I am constantly challenged to go beyond myself and put on the mind of Christ to see that I am just a small part of the greater whole that works together to glorify God.

So, while I am naturally revolted at any correction on my performance, I discipline my heart in obedience to Christ. I constantly ask for the grace to listen and follow the guidance of others, even if it may not make sense to me there and then. 

With every step, I learn to trust God and my coworkers in the Lord’s vineyard. And with greater trust, love grows in and among us. This is what it means to live in Christ, and it is the only way of life in which I can find peace.

The CYD production team are all smiles after a full day of rehearsal.

As Father Jude David, one of the two chaplains of the Office for Young People (OYP), said: Young people are seeking authenticity and the radicality of the Gospel which, when presented to them in an unadulterated way, captivates the hearts of many young people. I have seen this amongst many of the young people who pass through the evangelical ministry of OYP.”

Dion and I, as well as countless young people in the OYP family, have experienced new life in Christ. It is His desire, as the good shepherd, to also welcome you into the sheepfold. Come home and receive a new life in him.

Check out the full programme for CYD at oyp.org.sg/catholic-youth-day-2019.

Tickets for the night programme can be purchased at oyp.org.sg/cydtix.

 

About me: Hey, I’m Johannes, better known as Hans. I’m part of the stage production team in CYD 2019 and a member of the GUR18 community. I write news stories for a living, but the news I truly care about is the Good News.

Office for Young People seeks to raise up a generation of young people passionately in love with Jesus and His Church.

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