CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Feb. 19, 2014—With a mainstream culture that interchanges joy and pleasure, a bishop encourages thousands of singles to pursue true joy and not just pleasure.
“Oftentimes, we confuse joy and pleasure; joy can give us pleasure, but pleasure cannot provide us joy…Return to joy,” Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido told some 6,000 national and international delegates to the Singles for Christ International Conference (SFC ICON) 2014 last February 15.
Wired for joy
Despite personal trials, seemingly hopeless situations, and even tragedies on a massive scale like the devastation caused by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, Galido encouraged the SFC ICON attendees to keep on rediscovering being joyful.
“I hope there is a joy that is in your hearts as we are gathered here today this afternoon. We have to turn away from our sadness; we have to turn away from our discouragement, from our despair. Return to joy,” Bishop Galido said during the holy mass on the second day of the SFC ICON.
According to him, this joy, in spite of what looks like unbearable sadness, is something that comes from being close to Jesus.
“For us who meet Jesus, who believe in Jesus, who love and live Jesus, we are wired in. Like a chip inserted into our hearts, we cannot help but feel joy even if we feel sadness. It is a joy that stems from a renewed personal encounter with Jesus,” Galido said.
True joy comes from Jesus
This joy or lightness of being, he explained, is something the Holy Father, Pope Francis, also talks about in his pastoral exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, where the ‘joy of the Gospel’ and the ‘joy of evangelization’ are mentioned.
“What is the joy that we should possess today? It is a joy that cannot be tamed, restrained. It is signed with the foolishness of the Cross and rooted in the splendor of the resurrection,” Galido added.
In ending, he challenged the delegates, some of whom came from as far as the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the U.S., and New Zealand, to set aside more quiet time with Jesus.
“We need quality time for the other to grow in friendship. Do we spend quality time with [Jesus]? Do we find time to [seek] silence [and] listen to him?” he asked the crowd.
Several priests concelebrated the holy mass with Bishop Galido, including Fr. Jun Balsamo, Fr, Fermin Tan, SSJV, Fr. Jigger Ganador, SVCJ, among others.
This year’s SFC ICON had the theme, ‘Journey Beyond’, taken from the Scripture passage, John 19:26-27. It was held at the Pelaez Sports Complex, Cagayan de Oro City from February 14-16. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]