Priceless: A World Youth Congress Sharing

I remember being so excited for the World Youth Congress (WYC) 2016 when WYC 2015: Cross Encounter ended! You can bet that when the banner for WYC 2016 came out, I was one of those that changed my Facebook display picture and cover photo immediately.

Relentless – that’s the title, I thought.

Knowing that the community’s theme was, “Rich In Mercy” and how after every mass, we would recite the Prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy – it was pretty easy to guess what this adjective, relentless, referred to:

Mercy. This was a concept that should’ve been so easy for me, especially as one serving in the community for a while; attending all the teachings and accepting that our God is merciful. I however, looking back at myself before the congress – was not a merciful servant.

I wasn’t merciful to my family, not because I was a bad kid, I was a pretty respectful son. I wasn’t merciful because I distanced myself from them. Even in the little time I had with them on the weekends when I would come home from my dorm, I was passive in sharing to them the struggles and victories I had with God’s mercy.

I wasn’t merciful to my friends, even my best friend. There are grudges from disagreements, from conflicts long-passed, that I could not let go. I wanted to save it, and dangle it above them for undeclared apologies. I wasn’t merciful when I would allow them to do sinful things. As the passive friend and at times, joining in the slippery slope of sin, that always ends with regret.

Most of all, I wasn’t merciful to me.

I victimized myself. I allowed sin to dictate my life. I blindly allowed my slips into temptation tell me that it wasn’t my fault, but everyone else’s around me. I was guilty of the allowing this dictator to devastate me, and it made me feel that I was unworthy of my family, my friends and the life Lord has given me. I would continue to get frustrated on why God was still relentless in bringing me into this community life; the continuous struggle of knowing how certain things are wrong to do but unavoidable in nature. It was the constant feeling of treading a wet floor with flip-flops – waiting to slip.

But I missed something.

During the WYC2016, I was brought to the attention of the second part of its title: “His Mercy Outpours”. As I looked at the booklet, I really didn’t get it. Why was there a continuation when Relentless seemed enough? That was the thing – it wasn’t.

I only saw God’s mercy as relentless: persistent and unfaltering, but at the same time, too great for me and distant. However, in the WYC we learnt that this mercy is overflowing. It outpours for us because He wants it to. We don’t tell Him to stop, and even if we do, He doesn’t. It isn’t enough to believe that the Lord has this amazing mercy. It isn’t enough to believe that the limitless potential which mercy has. We also have to believe that it will never stop: it outpours. I ask myself why am I worthy, and the Lord answered me:

Jealdrin, because you are my son – you just are!”

It will never stop. I asked the wrong question of my worth, and it led to me actively reject the Lord. When we start questioning our worth, we start to focus on ourselves and less of God. Instead of questioning our worth, we need to start focusing on how we live up to the priceless worth that God gave us.

We will always be worthy. It will always be plenty.

            I will continue to praise our Lord for all He has given up for me –

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Jealdrin C. Madrid

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