The “300 Club” -Rejoicing in Heaven and in Sagay
“What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray..” – Matthew 18: 12-13
God is doing amazing and awesome things all over the world through our missionaries! We mentioned that two of our young women missionaries in the Philippines were preparing 300 students to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Camiguin Island and we wanted to share with you a little excerpt from Susanna’s blog on this labor of love and mercy.
Susanna writes: “Today I think I could die happy, feeling fulfilled and content and totally blessed by all that God has done in me and with me. Why this sudden realization?
“Confessions! Over the past two days, we took half of the school’s Catholics for Confession. Next week we will take the rest. Over 300 students, most of whom haven’t been for Confession since their first time in the fourth grade. For some, that is over six years ago.
It is so incredible to know that God’s mercy is being extended to so many young men and women and that our missionaries were able to prepare these young teens with encouragement and instruction to help them find the beautiful gift of confession just that; a gift!
Susanna writes: “Sin exists, it has infiltrated even a small town in a very Catholic country, and that’s because the inclination to sin is embedded in human nature. Thank God that these young people were willing to admit it, and take a serious look at their lives. It’s exciting because it’s a message not of condemnation, but of grace.
“So do you want to go for Confession?” I asked one class. “Yes!” they answered. “Absolutely!” shouted one boy. When I announced, “Tomorrow we will be going for Confession,” some of my classes broke into applause.
As the kids came out from Confession one by one, some had big grins on their faces. Some were crying. All of them immediately went to a different pew from their friends, knelt down and prayed. When I asked some how they were feeling, they just smiled and put a hand on their hearts. Peace. Relief. Freedom.
I am PUMPED that I got to be a small part of God’s ongoing story of salvation, to speak Jesus’ words of grace and forgiveness. “Jesus is waiting for you, with arms wide open. He loves you. He WANTS to forgive you.”
I KNOW that grace is being unleashed. Who knows how it is going to change their lives? It is fiesta season here, and there is a festive celebratory mood in the air (what with relatives coming to visit, music playing at all hours, band and dance practice, the church being decorated and pigs being killed.) And it is fiesta time in heaven- ‘Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” How much more over 300?”
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