by Myra Dsouza
KUWAIT, FEB 11, 2016: Over a hundred catechists attended an inspiring retreat conducted by Father Franco Pereira, the Catechetical Director for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, on February 6.
The yearly catechists retreat is one of the highlights of the catechetical year. This year, as in previous years, Father Pereira, assisted by Francis Sam, once again prepared a spiritual banquet for those present.
Each retreatant was given a cup with an image of the face of Jesus. The cup was engraved with the theme of the retreat, 'The cup of my life' as well as a verse from Scripture taken from 1 John 4:16, 'God is love, and those who love abide in God and God abides in them'.
Priests from the parish were available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and many retreatants made their confession. The retreat concluded with the celebration of Holy Mass.
Father Pereira invited those present to put all their intentions and desires into their cups and to place them on the tables in front of the altar, so they could be offered to God who would receive them and fill our cups with His blessings.
Before the final blessing, each took back their cups, which were blessed by God. The cups would remind them to constantly examine their lives and to empty themselves of all the clutter, in order to be filled with the love of Christ.
"It was a great experience. What touched me and those in my group most was the line, 'May God be enough for you'. I came here with an empty cup. I return home with my cup full of Jesus," Gregory Pereira, a retreatant, said.
"This retreat has helped me to let go of the inhibitions which restrict me from experiencing the true compassion of God. It has also helped me realise that in turn, I too can find ways to be more compassionate to others," Mark Roberts, another retreatant, said.
"The retreat helped me see how something as normal and trivial as a cup, can have so much meaning. Like a cup, although I may be chipped in places, stained and filled with things not of God's Kingdom, a retreat like this teaches me to empty myself, so I can be filled with the life that Jesus wants to give me," Sasha D'Souza said.
Evelyn D'Souza echoed a similar sentient, "The retreat had a deep and profound effect on me. The reflections on God's infinite Mercy were an eye opener and the group sharing helped to build each other up. We realised that each of us is uniquely designed by the Potter to hold inside the cup of our life, the very life of His Son," she said.