‘Who are you, Lord?’

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied, when Saul, who supposedly knew all about God posed that question to him.

Today we are still asking the same question that Saul asked Jesus 2000 years ago,  and yet seem to be groping in the dark about the answer.  To some, the answer may appear to be very daunting, and to others, it may seem very easy. Either way, this question leaves many of us blank still searching for the right answer.

Thus, “Who are you Lord?” was the theme of this year’s Swindon Youth Annual Event 2019. With the help of the Holy Rood Youth Ministry, the Goan Chaplaincy Youth (Swindon)  prepared for this year’s event. While preparations started months ago, it all led to the day where hundreds of youth gathered from Swindon, Reading and the many regions in London (Wembley, Southall, and Hounslow).

This year’s event saw new speakers and new things, with the Witnesses Band from the Anointing Fire Catholic Youth Ministries making their impressive debut! Many young persons from Year 9 and above came along together to be a part of the young church, and to celebrate what the Lord means to each one of them.

The keynote speaker Tenny Antony, from Anointing Fire Catholic Youth Ministries UK, spoke about the importance of prayer and leading a prayerful life. Tenny explained, while life can be stressful, while we are young, we must always remain persistent in prayer.

One of the speakers at the convention, Jeremiah Vaz, 20 who is part of the Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate traced his journey to Knowing who Christ is, keeping the large audience spell-bound by his powerful personal story of discovery. He spoke about the reality of modern life and how it challenges you at every step and turn to lead a holy life.

Other speakers included Fr Dominic Findlay-Wilson and Deana Hunt, who stressed the importance of praying the Holy Rosary as a family together, which in turn brought them closer to the reality of Jesus and who He reveals Himself to be.

Many who attended felt a new dimension added to their life after listening to the personal experiences of the speakers. Venancia Mendes, 20, talking about the whole event mentioned how “the music really helped me to pray”. Another youth Macben De Souza, 23, felt it was an “eye-opener to the many youths gathered”

The day ended with the Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Declan Lang (Clifton Dioceses), who explained to all those gathered that the answer to the question “Who are you, Lord?” is a journey of faith which requires us to be closer to the Lord in order for us to find an answer. Bishop Declan ended the day with reminding the youth that “you are not just the future Church, but you are the current Church!”.

While I come back to the same question, who are you, Lord? My answer is simply from the words of Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”. So now I ask you, who is the Lord for you?

Valenka Da Silva