Challenge put to teens at CCR Youth Rally
While on earth, Jesus delivered many messages as a call to mission and it is important that we understand His messages speak to the present, not the past.
Fr Steve Ransome emphasised this during his address to an auditorium filled with young people who attended the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Youth Rally on Saturday, October 19 at Trinity College East, Trincity.
Fr Ransome’s talk was guided by the scripture reading from Acts 1:8 “You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to earth’s remotest end”.
To the young people Fr Ransome said, “You must listen to the last words of anybody because they will choose their words wisely. Jesus chose His words carefully to His apostles knowing He was leaving them as He prepared to ascend to the Father.”
He added, “Jesus asked the apostles to take that Word for the rest of their lives and mission as he asks you today.”
On the cliché, ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same way’, Fr Ransome explained, “The more we think things are changing, transforming and evolving, God wants us to know certain things must endure.”
He called to mind the many changes taking place in the midst of the apostles while Jesus suffered prosecution and ridicule. The apostles no longer saw the glorious ending but rather death and destruction.
“God reminds us, the apostles did not have it easy having seen their saviour humiliated, spat on and eventual death on the Cross,” Fr Ransome said.
“Often, we continuously look for Christ to do something glorious and marvellous for us by transforming day-to-day situations, all the while believing that journeying with Him and initiating into the Church all will be well.” However, Fr Ransome said, God is fully aware of the creeping feelings of despair, despondency and depression.
Lean on the Holy Spirit
The youth and young adults were encouraged to fellowship with Jesus; to love and serve Him though He sits at the right hand of the Father because He sends the Holy Spirit. “But do you believe it?” Fr Ransome asked the young people.
He grounded the explanation with examples from his younger years. He related stories of his shy nature as a young man who even got “licks” from his Standard 3 teacher for not being brave enough to pray aloud.
“I was so shy people used to talk for me!” Fr Ransome said, adding, “It was with that same Holy Spirit, Jesus was using to move me out of my shyness and proclaim His name with boldness.”
He shared that it was through his Confirmation programme and a Life in the Spirit seminar that he learned “the Holy Spirit is real” and helped to develop his strong love for Jesus.
Fr Ransome shared that as a result of being animated by the Holy Spirit he felt the desire to do things for Jesus Christ in the Church which eventually led him to the priesthood.
“Young people, you have an opportunity to not become like the older heads in the Church around you who often choose to be stuck in a position ministering to their own cliques. Do not be like them and just be witnesses to your peers; that is not good enough for Jesus. Become witnesses for all.”
The day included testimonies, other talks and workshops. Some of the workshop sessions were titled ‘A Friendship with Jesus’; ‘Discovering Your Purpose’; ‘How to define True Love?’; ‘Starting over…Your Make over (New Life with the Holy Spirit)’; ‘Is the Eucharist Real?’; and ‘Three M’s Moving from Maintenance to Mission’.
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu was the main celebrant at the closing Mass.—RS