In 2017, we lived and walked with the Holy Spirit. We’ve been kind to everyone especially to those who needed it the most, we were able to control our personal desires and feelings to have a clearer mind and a cleaner heart, we patiently waited and hoped for the fulfillment of our dreams in line with God’s perfect plan for us, we stayed faithful to Him despite all the challenges we’ve been through, we lived a simple life by appreciating every single things around us, and, lastly, we generously shared the blessings we received to others. We all underwent these personal encounters and transformations that made us better youth ministers of today but it doesn’t stop there, we need to pass it on, we need to influence others, we need to change other people’s lives into something better and worth living for the Lord. So after a year of allowing the Holy Spirit into our lives through “The Blue Slippers”, we are now called to be disciples of today’s generation, an instrument of new evangelization, through our year theme this 2018 – The Painter.
Inspired by Him and His works, we are called to be painters, painters who have the courage, passion and willingness to hold the paintbrush and make our own perfect masterpieces. For this year, we will carry the bible passage “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good work” from Ephesians 2:10. We are all created by the Lord in his own image and likeness which means we are all given the mission to do good things and be like Him.
Our life is like a canvas. It is sometimes painted with vibrant colors manifesting joy, hope and love – they show moments of being together with our family or achieving our dreams or doing good deeds toward others. Sometimes, it is black and white showing despair, hopelessness and fear signifying the times when we lose someone dear to us or the times we stumble and fall.
Our year theme, The Painter, is our symbol of discipleship for our creator is behind these canvases. We are all objects in a painting made by our loving Father, The Lord. He continues to paint our lives, He colors His plans for us, He directs every stroke to the path He wanted to lead us and He is continuously painting this perfect image of hope, faith and love in our lives. “Discipleship must begin with a living experience of God and his love. It is not something static, but a continuous movement towards Christ; it is not simply the fidelity to making a doctrine explicit, but rather the experience of the Lord’s living, kindly and active presence, an ongoing formation by listening to his word.” 1
Also, as part of the celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons by the Catholic Church, we are all invited, ordained or non-ordained, according to the Second Vatican council, to holiness. This year is an invitation for a deeper discipleship and communion towards a common journey to holiness for neither the clergy, the religious nor the laity could do it alone. We are all called to be saints together as the one Body of Christ. We are all called not only to be a recipient but to be an active agent of new evangelization. 2
Our journey this 2018 will revolve around the things that we need to do for us to live the life of The Painter. We will act on the following watch words that will help us fulfill our mission of being Christ’s disciples:
CHALLENGE (January to February) We will courageously get out of our comfort zones and go to the peripheries. We will exceed our limitations and overcome our weaknesses so that we can be better Disciples of Christ.
HANG OUT (March to April) We will form communities of young disciples working towards the same mission of bringing the children and youth closer to Christ.
REACH OUT (May to June) We will extend not only our hands but our whole selves to others. We will be sensitive to their needs and be a catalyst of change.
IGNITE (July to August) We will ignite the passion of service by following Christ in the lives of others. We will be a source of motivation and inspiration for them to offer their lives in the service of Christ.
STRIVE MORE (September to October) We will continuously follow the path that Christ laid down to us. The road may be rough, the journey may be tough but we will strive hard until we have lived His life.
TAKE PART (November to December) We will make new disciples. Disciples who will continue the journey we started; Disciples who will also live the life of Christ; Disciples who will also make new disciples.
Together, as one Chiro community guided by the Holy Spirit, let us all be living disciples of the today’s world. As Pope Francis said, if a disciple is not journeying to serve, there’s no reason for the journey. Let us all live the life of The Painter; let us all be like Christ.
1 Saturday Mass of Pope Francis in Colombia, September 2017
2 CBCP News – Understanding the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons