Thursday, January 4, 2024

#SEEK24 Day 4

 With a whirlwind of a week drawing closer to its close, we stayed just as busy as we have all week!

The day again began with Morning Prayer at 7:30a, Rosary at 8a and Mass at 8:30a.



Cardinal Timothy Dolan was the principal presider at the Mass this morning, as we celebrated the feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton.  He had a personal connection to her, as he attended her Canonization.

He reminded us that we were here because we love Jesus, seek Jesus, love FOCUS and love each other, but what really brings us joy is the Jesus who is alive and present in the Holy Eucharist.  He continued to reflect on the two great truths:

1.  The most Blessed Trinity, one God, yet three divine persons.

2.  The Incarnation, where God, the eternal Son, chose to take flesh and become one of us.    

The Lord will always understand at a personal level what we are going through because He became one of us.   He chose to beomce man so that, through Him, we could become divine.  His sanctifying grace will be enough.

After Mass, we each headed off to our concurrent sessions:  Men's Talk, Women's Talk, Campus Ministry and Making Missionary Disciples.  We came together for lunch and conversation as small groups after the session.  Great conversations were had as our students had the opportunity to reflect on their time at SEEK and how they will take their experience home and incorporate it into their lives.




Next, we participated in the SEEK wide experience of adding our logo to the chalk boards on the concourse.  It seems like a small detail, but it really allows for our campus to be a part of the big picture of the landscape of the conference.



The afternoon was filled with time at Mission Way checking our vendors and booths, impact sessions, and building relationships within our travelers.

Father John Ezratty, a National FOCUS Chaplain, was the lead off speaker for tonight's keynotes.  While it was referenced that Monsignor Shea was a Good Friday priest in his talk earlier this week, Father Ezratty claimed the role of the Pentecost priest as he shared the greatest news of the week:  Jesus is present and continues to work in our lives today.

He shared that for our Mother Church, Jesus does NOT cover us with His grace.  Instead, He transforms us with His grace.  We each have our broken hearts.  He doesn't want them to remain broken, even if they are hidden.  He wants to heal them.

His primary message was the transformation one person can make in their hearts by modeling their lives on the saints.  Then, he challenged us to consider the following:

If St. Benedict did this, why not me?

If St. Francis of Assisi did this, why not me?

If St. Ignatius of Loyola did this, why not me?

If Bl. Carlo Acutis did this, why not me?

If Michelle Duppong did this, why not me?

And, once we have considered this, the next step of the challenge was to see what we need to do next:

Commit to weekly Mass, if you aren't attending regularl

Commit to daily Mass once a week

Commit to daily prayer

Commit to a Bible study

Commit to having good, Catholic friends

Finally, Fr. Ezratty reminded us that he is not working with the future of the Church.  He is working with the present!  We should each start now.  We don't need to wait until we are older, and there is no retirement in the Catholic Church because the only way we can bring true change to the world is to bring Jesus Christ into it.

Our final speaker of the night was Emily Wilson.

She gave a highly energized talk regarding the crosses we each carry as disciples of Christ.  There will be obstacles and challenges as we follow Him, but it is so worth it.

We need to grow in our ability to say no to sinful attachments.  While doing so, we need to remember that when we walk away from something, we are also walking toward something.

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