UNFOLD - Who do you say I am? (Jesus Youth Event)
Full Day Retreat Event for Youth 16 and over
Article written by : Ms Christine George
Jesus Youth Adelaide held a full-day retreat event on the 13th February, 2021, for young people 16 and above, at the Holy Family Catholic School hall, Parafield Gardens. It featured live music, creative performances, talks from gifted speakers, mass and adoration with approximately 70 people in attendance.
Reflecting on the lead up to Unfold, the evidence of God was present. It all began with the stirred desire amidst Jesus Youth members to create a platform for more youth to encounter Christ and walk with Him through weekly JY gatherings.
In prayer, scripture in the book of Matthew inspired members of JY, where Jesus asks “Who do you say I am?” to name the event ‘Unfold’ – conveying the constant unveiling of layers to a deeper encounter with Christ on the personal journey of faith.
Further scripture in the book of Jonah, continued to inspire this young group, where God implored his disheartened prophet by saying “Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city.” (4:10-11). Celina Do, JY Member, explained, ‘This scripture spoke the heart of The Father, which hurt for his creation; not for their lack of food or shelter but for the lack of the light which only comes from knowing the creator’.
This revelation carved out a deeper purpose, which was to reach out to the youth of Adelaide in ‘spiritual darkness’ and introduce them to the light of Christ.
Months of preparation saw members work for God’s will. This unanimous goal to bring the youth of Adelaide back to Christ, developed a sense of strong intent among the group. In doing so, a community formed, united by a love for Christ and a passion to share this with others. This authentic experience of community laid the harmonious foundation for the day of Unfold.
Just as the name suggests, participants were challenged to unfold their true identity of Christ as the day progressed. Compelling talks from speakers, Fr Santosh Periera and Ms Lydia Langlin, enlightened the participants; while shared personal testimonies and Q&A of favourite saints, helped to explore the possibility of religious life as a student.
Performances by the band throughout the day lifted spirits, as everyone was drawn closer to God’s love in worship. The day was complete with Holy Mass celebrated by Fr William Loh and adoration, which brought a concluding sense of tranquillity.
One common phrase heard from various participants and volunteers was, ‘how wholesome and peaceful’ the day was.
Yes, God did bless the day with perfect sunny weather, but ultimately it was the presence of the Holy Spirit that provided the warm atmosphere!
Though the day presented the opportunity for an encounter with Christ, it also allowed us to ‘unfold’ who we truly are and established our real identity as heirs of God.