Reflection by Josh Kapika
Saints Inspiring Saints
"Want to be a saint? Then prepare to die!" – A Reaction to the SCOTUS Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage
Growing Up Catholic
From Mass to Re-Conversion
by Malcolm Zara
Growing up, my mother raised me to be a “good Catholic.” I learned my prayers, went to a Catholic school, and I went was dragged to church every Sunday and the other Holy Days of Obligation. If there was such thing as “Catholic Extra Credit,” I was convinced I earned it. Whenever there was a special Mass held, she would bring us to those too. We would do feast days, novenas, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s, Holy Week, and everything in between. (It’s remarkable though that I had never been an altar server.)
Back then, I was super thankful that Mass was only an hour long. There was only so much of going through the motions that I could take. Sit. Stand. Kneel. Respond. Get in line. Say Amen. However, there was one Mass a year that really tried my patience. It was the Easter Vigil. One that I attended went on for almost 3 hours. I was on the verge of becoming an atheist.
Something changed. As I “re-converted” to Catholicism, I began to fall in love with the way we worship. I started to perceive the motions I used to go through as a response to God’s love for us. The readings became the Living Word. The Eucharist became healing and nourishment. Mass finally meant something, and the Easter Vigil had much, much more to offer than fake extra credit points.
I grew to realize that the Easter Vigil Mass was comprised of some of the most profound and spiritually moving hours of the year. When your mind wanders, you miss out on some of the beautiful poetry that happens. Take the first few minutes of that Mass for example. Imagine the darkness we start the night in as being in the tomb that Jesus’ body was laid in. As light from our candles fill the room, Jesus slowly rolls the stone-seal away. The light that enters is the hope that Jesus’ return brings to the entire world.
Then, we have the readings. These words from Scripture are meant to captivate us with stories from our history. They are stories of creation, war, trials, and rescue that span different eras and generations. They remind us of the long and winding journey that we all take and that culminates in the Resurrection.
It is moments like these that deepen both my understanding of our faith and my relationship with God. I no longer go to Mass because someone told me too but because I want to. Mass is a real-life encounter with the risen Jesus. My favorite one is now the Easter Vigil and I hope it can transform your life like it does for me.
by Yvonne Fukumoto
This is not going to be a shock that my real life Jesus moment comes from my children – yes another girl on the way! And it’s no coincidence that we celebrated Maile‘ailana’s 4th birthday yesterday! I truly believe that Maile is filled with Christ’s spirit and has been from birth when she decided to come into the world 2 months early and spent one month in the NICU until now, attending St. Michael’s Preschool and becoming “Student of the Month” (she got it from her mommy).
I owe a lot of my spiritual faith to these little girls. Maile is the miracle that sparked my renewed faith in God. Finding out that I was carrying a life was a sign to me that, in all my sin, God has never forgotten me. Instead, he trusted me to love, protect, and raise this little girl. When I thought God could not forgive me for my past sins, he blesses me with the most precious gift of all.
Kainoa and I are expecting our second daughter in June and Maile is truly excited to be a big sister! Now, what most of you know of you don’t know is that I went through a miscarriage before God blessed us with our second daughter. Needless to say, I was angry with God; angry that he gave us hope and angry that he took it away. After I shared some my thoughts with God, He told me that if we were to have another child, it would be in his time.
If you didn’t know, I am a control freak and it’s tough for me to handle uncontrollable situations, so when God said, “in my time,” it was truly a test of my patience and trust in him. I began to truly accept the fact that God will bless me with another child when he saw fit… and he did! I am now 25 weeks pregnant with our second miracle. Maile is so excited to be a big sister and I can already tell that she’s going to love her with all her heart!
I could not comprehend the immense love that God has for us had it not been for my children. When I put things into perspective… the thought of sacrificing my child to save the world is an idea that I cannot fathom. God’s Son, Jesus, died for you and me. Do you care? Does it mean anything to you? …I care, and it means EVERYTHING to me.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." – John 3:16.
Feeding the Hungry
by Chrys Taboada
Last month, we talked about metanoia. It is a life-changing event in a person’s life. A moment in my life where I experienced a metanoia, where I was affected by Jesus, is when I started helping with Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry. This moment was not a life-altering moment, but it did change me.
Two years ago in September 2013, Father Budiyanto wanted a young adult to go a food pantry meeting hosted by the Diocese of Honolulu’s Social Ministry. The young adult he asked couldn’t do it, so when I was asked, I said yes. That “yes” initiated the sequence of events that would resurrect the OLS Food Pantry.
The meeting that I volunteered was at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Pearl City. It was there that I heard Our Lady of Sorrows closed down the food pantry for a few months. The Diocese of Honolulu’s Social Ministry Food Pantry meeting was a talk-story format. I was listening to the other parishes from the Central and Leeward Vicariates talk about how they run their food pantries.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, my mother and I saved the OLS Food Pantry. When we give out the bags on the last Saturday of the month, I can feel the people being moved by our generosity. They were thanking me for my service. The elderly and poor really do rely on this Food Pantry Ministry every month.
I learned that the OLS Food Pantry had been established since 2008. It has been under new management since May 2014. As a Central District distribution point of Hawaii Food Bank, we distribute food to people in need. Food brings people together. We do need to unite the ministries of OLS to bring more people together through food that we receive from God. We each need to feed just one person of any age.
As the EPIC representative working with the Food Pantry, I have seen the importance of keeping this ministry. Food is an essential to survive. It nourishes our body received from the Body of Christ. It gives us life and energy that we must give to all. OLS Food Pantry is an avenue to help save lives. We serve God by serving others. We cannot let the needy down by not sharing our canned foods.
"Go, make a difference."
My Jesus Moment
EPIC Food Fight!
FOOD ITEMS AND POINTS:
MONTHLY BONUS POINTS (+5 points each):
MONTHLY BOMBS (-5 points each):