by Anselm Yap
My two biggest takeaways from SOCL would be the importance of being connected and grounded in a community through prayer and worship as well as the need to live radically for Jesus Christ.
I used to think fulfilling the Sunday obligation and going for the occasional weekday mass, equated to having done a great service for God. I thought being part of a community was not all that important and I had given enough time to church anyways. However over the days spent at SOCL, God helped reveal and lower my pride; that I had only scratched the surface of what it meant to be a true disciple of Christ.
During SOCL, I realized that being part of a community shifted the focus of my prayers, actions and words from being all about myself to something greater. I learnt that Jesus Christ established the one true catholic church solely out of love for us poor sinners to be a place of healing and communion. That we as the members of the mystical body of Christ are called to journey and support each other to grow in our faith and love for the Lord as a community. I recognised the power of praying and sharing our walk with Christ as a community indeed helped me to deepen my faith and broaden my perspective of the Heavenly Father’s unconditionally love for us.
I also learnt at SOCL that to live as a true disciple of Christ, it demands that my life becomes Christocentric. This spirituality has to pervade every aspect of my life; and not just when I attend mass. This means for me to live more intentionally for Christ in my thoughts, words and actions, inside and outside the church. It dawned upon me that the half-measures that I have been giving to God, only prevented myself from knowing and loving the Father’s love for His children. God revealed to me that He desires to be part of our lives at every moment (waking up, eating, studying, gatherings etc). For He is the only one who truly loves and wants the best for His children at the end of the day.
Is it any coincidence then that the theme for this year’s SOCL be that of love; the love of the Father’s heart that binds all the brokeness of my life in perfect unity and makes all things new. Praise God for His boundless and unconditional love for each one of us!
“Above all these, put on love.” Colossians 3:14