Hello guys! Look at our lovely picture above and almost everybody is here because we gathered for our very own flock commissioning session!
We are also very proud to present our final logo after many rounds of consulting, discussion and voting. Thanks Peishan! After Fr Jude’s sharing and blessing, we in turn light our candles and placed it in the form of who we are : 7G!
At this moment I will try to summarize Fr Jude’s sharing with us – Serving as One.
I really liked Fr Jude’s trademark story of porcupines. So as we know, porcupines have spines and these spines help trap air that keeps them warm. In winter, these porcupines huddle together for warmth but in the process, they poke each other and bleed together. One day, one porcupine decided that he has had enough of this bloody affair. He told all of them, “I had enough of you all and I will survive without you.” Everybody was shocked, but they were curious to see if this porcupine succeeds, they would want to follow suit. This porcupine leaves and a few months later, the porcupines found him frozen in the cold all alone.
This story is a very simple yet stark reminder of the nature of community and how much we need community. It is important to keep our expectations of what a community is in check. Very often, most people come looking for community expecting happiness, joy and comfort. Unfortunately, they forget about the pain and hard work that comes along with it. With this porcupine story, it reminds us that having somebody to hurt and somebody to hurt us is better than dying alone.
And this is why every year, we should come together to remind ourselves of our vision and why we create community. We take stock of why we do what we do and remember that we must fight for community as it isn’t natural in the modern man’s life. In the modern world, the “I” is so strong that we often think if it is not MY WAY, I don’t want it. On the other hand, the very heart of community is where the “I” dies and then only we can rise to new life. We must remember that of sheep and fish, no one is a pure shepherd nor a pure fisherman except Jesus. We are always part sheep and part shepherd in our ways.
In community, it is also important to remember that all shepherds must die and that there is a high price to pay. At times, it can feel that our efforts are insignificant or taken for granted. It is human nature to ignore what goes well and we can be quick to point fingers to what doesn’t. However, in our desire to be appreciated, Jesus purifies us by allowing us to reflect what is our true intention of being a shepherd. Is this because I love the Lord and my neighbours? Unfortunately, the authentic shepherd will always be broken more than the rest. A true shepherd nurtures the heart of compassion to listen to others’ pain while trying to create a place of being real. The sheep lead a lot of different lives out there, and a shepherd will carry the sheep on his shoulder while the sheep shits on him. And yet at the same time, regardless of how much the sheep shits on him/her, a true shepherd will always love and never expect some kind of ROI. He/she needs to let go even if the sheep heals only to disappear.
At the same time, community is never all lovey dovey. The devil will always lurk about ready to lure us into lies, misconceptions and temptations. In our interactions, there can be a lot of misunderstandings and a lot of unspoken pain in us. We may get angry at times, but we must try to stay rooted in Christ and listen to the voice of truth. Community is about love and charity – and without community, it is almost impossible to live the standard we are taught without each other. At times, we are also called to pull each other back down to the ground when we get too complacent.
I think one point of comfort would be that God knows everybody’s sacrifices and everybody’s pain. It is only when we put our lives at the altar of sacrifice that others may have life. As Jesus said, any man who wants to keep his life will lose it and any man who loses his life in My Name will find it. We are all challenged to find it together in a far deeper way – to form community as a beginning of heaven.
I look forward to walking together through the good and the bad with you all ^^