I praise God for ‘Abide’ – a full day program conducted for couples in Mangalore on Sunday, 1 March 2020 at Milagres Church Hall from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. About thirty couples attended this program with a program in parallel for their children.
The day began with praise and worship and the first talk on ‘Call to Abide’ by Oswald and Ida Rodrigues was about how we should cling to the Lord every moment of our lives. We are called to abide in Him if we are to bear good fruit i.e. fruits of the Holy Spirit and not of this world. The testimony given by Ida was wonderful.
The second talk on ‘Grace to Abide’ by Jeswin and Lavisha shed light on what is grace and how we can obtain it along with the importance of reading the Word of God, Lectio Divina, and Sacraments in our lives. It was heard-touching to hear Jeswin’s sharing on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The session resumed in the afternoon with praise and worship while the action songs ensured we don’t doze off after the yummy lunch! The third talk on ‘Praying the Eucharist’ was very well delivered by Jasmine. Growing up, Sunday Mass for me was like a ritual, a part of my Sunday or Saturday routine. Though I was physically present at the Mass, my mind used to wander planning the week’s chores. My participation in the Mass depended on whether the choir was melodious or not. Reaching on time was a task and I had no idea about the need to prepare my heart before going for Mass. This talk enlightened us about so many aspects of the Eucharist which we were ignorant of. The meaning of Sacrificial Lamb was new learning. We were made aware of the various graces we receive through the Eucharist and through our participation in Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross that takes place during the Eucharist. The Eucharist, therefore, rightly called source and summit for us Catholics and we should participate in the Eucharist rather than just attending it.
The fourth and last talk was on the ‘Call to Bear Fruit’ by Melvin and Neetha through which we understood the need to grow in holiness and to be a witness to Jesus in our homes and in our community. Jesus is the vine and we being His branches need to stay close to Him to be able to bear fruit. However, at times we need to undergo a painful process of ‘pruning’ to bear more fruit. We also need to be courageous and give the good news to all around us. It was a very fruitful day of prayer and fellowship.