Day 2 of #SEEK24 dawned early with 7:30a Morning Prayer, followed by 8am Rosary, and Daily Mass at 8:30a. It was an action packed morning!
The presider for the Mass today was Archbishop Samuel Aquila. His message was one of the overwhelming love the Lord has for us from the moment of our conception. The truth is the Lord is the first to know us and the first to love us, even before our parents are aware of our existence.
He further reflected on the role of John the Baptist, especially the way he always pointed others toward Christ.
We were challenged to renounce the lie in order to receive the truth we are called to hear from the Lord.
Once, we have done that, Archbishop Aquila gave us three actions to take.
1. Meditate upon the Father's eternal love for us, from the moment of our conception.
2. Give honor and glory to the Father for all that He has accomplished in our lives and ask Him to reveal what areas we have not yet given over to the Lord.
3. Go into the world, finding one person who doesn't know Christ, and serve as John the Baptist to them, pointing them toward Christ by the way we each live our lives.
Following Mass, we had students who attended the men's, women's, and Making Missionary Disciples concurrent sessions. We gathered for small group men's and women's discussion during lunch. After lunch, everyone attended individual breakout sessions.
Our evening program included an introduction of the patron Saint of the Conference: St. Jose Sanchez del Rio. We have been gifted the honor of having a first class relic of this saint at the conference. The relic will be in the Chapel for the remainder of the conference
As we moved into the keynote sessions, Monsignor James Shea, from University of Mary, was the leadoff speaker. While yesterday's topic was more about hope, Monsignor Shea's topic was more of the bad news: There is a dark veil that hangs over the human race.
Currently, the college age population has record high levels of anxiety and deptression. Realistically, this may be a completely appropriate response to coming of age where everything is permitted, nothing is forgiven, and there is no God. He went on to discuss the challenges of Lucifer, and the stalking of people Satan does, including the lies that are told.
He concluded, though, that we do not need to believe the lies, because we have the Gospel. Because of the graces of our baptisms, we are prepared to be a receptacle for the indwelling of the Lord. And, as long as we don't give up, we will always win because Jesus died for us, and in that, we can find our comfort and joy.
The second speaker of the night was Sr. Mary Grace SV, who spoke about The Wages of Sin.
She shared there are two things sin does:
1. Imprisons us
2. Interrogates us and weakens us
To counter that, through trust in Jesus, we can be liberated while Jesus defends us from the attacks. While we can be afraid in the face of these challenges, we do not need to remain afraid because Jesus is stronger.
While we all experience the imprsionment that sin confines us to, we need to ask ourselves, what sin is Jesus inviting us to leave behind. God did not ask us to save ourselves. He sent His Son to save us. The bravest thing we can do is to call out to God to send us the help He offers to us.
Finally, she challenged us to remember Jesus did not choose comfort in His time on earth. He came to us in a messy manger. He left us in a cold tomb, before He was raised again from the dead. The darkest place in our lives can be the place of Christ's resurrection in our lives.
After the wrap up of the speakers, the SEEK25 location was announced. We will be headed to Salt Lake City in January of 2025!
We had two options for the entertainment for the night. There was a carnival filled with games and opportunities to win prizes. The second option was a screening of the documentary about former FOCUS missionary Michelle Duppong: Radiating Joy: The Michelle Duppong Story.