Hosts, from top: Jan Silan, Velden Lim, and Marianne Mencias
STEVE TYNAN: …Jesus’ life will not be fulfilled until He dies on the Cross. Jesus’ life will not bear the fruit it is meant to bear until He dies on the Cross. So, if you could interview Jesus right now, He would say to each one of us, “True joy is obedience to My Father’s will. True joy is suffering the indignities of what I suffered. True joy is being nailed to the Cross, so that my death can bring salvation to the world.”
Not quite what we expect when we hear the word joy. But I think this is the challenge that God gives– that the Holy Spirit gives to us who want to be disciples of Jesus. If we want to be disciples of Jesus, each one of us has to discover what true joy is…The joy that comes from salvation, the joy that comes from knowing and walking with the Lord will endure forever because it stems from our relationship with God. That’s our challenge.
So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and joyfully offered burnt offerings; they offered a sacrifice of well-being and a thanksgiving offering. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and fitted them with doors. 58 There was very great joy among the people, and the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed.
Founder, Light of Jesus Family
Hallelujah! Father, we thank you that today is the day that the Lord has made! We shall rejoice and be glad in it! Let us give a big hand to the Lord. God is here and there. There is no greater joy than to be in the presence of the Lord! Thank you so much for being here, guys! We just had a difficult year but we’re here together!
Welcome to the Feast Conference 2021, Joyful! Joyful!
Hello, everybody! To all the attendees online watching us from your home, from the office, in your way home, from Manila, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and the international delegates specially our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and Europe, Joyful! Joyful!
Welcome to all of you! I would also like to welcome our brothers and sisters from other various parts of the world! The joy of online! Hello to all of you!”
Feast Regional Mega Manila Builder
While having the Mass, we were all in tears here in this venue. We call this the bubble venue. I was praying and hoping that you will be with us here… Sa Tagalog… sana all.
But you know God is happening here, and I want you to believe that God is happening where you are right now too. The Holy Spirit is there with you as well and so we are all here! Joyful! Joyful!
Together we’re very happy that you’re joining us online and we are going to be blessed! God is going to speak to us. His joy will abound in all of us!”
Feast Provincial Builder
What’s new recently is we are slowly… but joyfully gathering. We’re still in the middle of the crisis but we are able to gather with so much joy and hope in the Lord. That’s why we are proclaiming so much joy! We have so many reasons to be joyful and we are gathered today in the celebration of God’s joy!
Welcome to Feast Conference 2021, Joyful! Joyful!
PLENARY SESSION 1
Commissioner on Family and Life, Archdiocese of Manila
…When I saw that it (the conference) will be called Joyful! Joyful! I said to myself, “Why not only Joyful?”
And then I remembered the story of the second book of the Kings when Elijah was about to be taken up to Heaven and he was commissioning Elisha to take over his post and Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to give you?” Because he was intending Elisha to be his replacement. Elisha said, “Give me the double portion of your spirit.”
He did not want only one. He wanted a double portion of his spirit.
And I think that is also the reason we call Feast Conference 2021, Joyful! Joyful! Because we want not only a portion of the joy of God… We want a double portion because we need it right now.
So, how does our relationship with Christ grow in love?
1. You give it a label. I hear it often especially in younger people. They would always tell me, “Father, I don’t want to give a label into our relationship. I want a relationship that is fluid… I don’t want t be caught in a particular label.”
But you know, if you are in a relationship right now with no label, this is what I will tell you… Get out of that relationship! Because a relationship without a label is no relationship at all.
Go back to the experience of Jesus with the apostles. Do you remember in the Gospel of Mark? When Jesus called the apostles, He brought them into an area called Caesarea Philippi… It is a pagan country, a pagan territory, and Jesus brought the disciples in the area and then He asked them, “Who do people say that I am?”
And then after hearing the opinion of the people, He then turned personal… He turned to his disciples and said, “How about you, who do you say that I am?
He wanted the apostles to get a label to the relationship. Jesus was, in a way, asking them, “Who am I for you?”
He is asking them, “What do we mean to each other?”
…You know, labels are important because if something has a label, it also has a direction. It has an ending that you expect it to be. Not having a label is an excuse for not being committed to that relationship.
Remember in Matthew 10:32, what did Jesus say? “He who acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before men and he who denied me before men, I will also deny in front of my Father.”
You know, we can learn something from our Christian friends. If you listen to our Born-Again Christian friends, you’ll notice they never mention Christ without saying, “Christ is my personal Lord and Savior.”
That is a label to that relationship.
So right now, that is my question to you: Can you give a label to your relationship with Christ? Now, do you have a label for that relationship or are you in a fluid relationship which is no relationship at all?
2.You protect it with laws. Second, if you want a relationship to grow… If I am in a serious relationship, we agree at certain laws because if something is important, you protect it with laws.
3. You make it liturgical. Knowing Christ is…
The apostle Paul tells us that joy is not a state of feeling, it is a matter of willing. That’s why he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
I say it again… Rejoice!
Do not confuse joy with happiness. Happiness is a part of our experience, but joy is much deeper than happiness.
Happiness comes from an old English word hap— that is where we get the words haphazard, perhaps. Hap means luck or chance. That is why when you say happiness, it actually means something that is dependent on what is happening around you. So, happiness is an emotional high that we have. Don’t get me wrong. Happiness is not bad, but what we are saying is… Joy is much deeper because joy is the peace of mind. Joy is the serenity that I have, knowing that I am a friend of Christ.
Do you know that when Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” he was in prison but then he could still truly rejoice in the Lord.
That is the joy that Jesus wants us to experience. A joy that is not dependent on circumstance. It is a joy that is dependent on character. The goal of the Christian life is not happiness.
The goal of a Christian life is holiness.