Luke 18: Faith is a Decision by Yenyen Chan

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Last November 28- 30, 2014, the members of the Luke 18 community had a Weekend with the theme “Faith is a Decision”. They had talks and sharings to encourage them to be more aware of the impact of their daily decisions especially those concerning their relationships with family, friends and God. The Weekend also encouraged them to strengthen their bonds and commitment to their faith community.

Their activities included a guided reflection on the story of the Prodigal Son, a movie showing, sleep-over at the parish center as well as a whole lot of singing and praying. It was organized by the Luke 18 Adult Leaders and facilitated by Bridge Builders from Antioch.

Here are some of the Lukers’ comments after the Weekend:

“Even if I’m not the light, I can be the spark”-I’ve been in Luke 18 for almost 3 years now, and weekend after weekend I’ve found more reasons to fall in love and stay active in this community because of its mission- to spread God’s love. Spreading God’s love is a choice that I have decided to undertake the moment I received my Luke medallion; sometimes, it can even be the harder choice, but we have to realize that social transformation begins with us. If we do want to make a difference in someone’s life we have to start with ourselves. We can be a catalyst for change or an inspiration for the future in our community, this is God’s challenge to us, he is just waiting for us to say yes.-Angelo G.

The Luke 18 Renewal Weekend was a worthwhile experience, like no other. I honestly felt like the weekend was like coming back home to a family, and made me realize how faith plays an important factor in our daily lives, be it through ourselves, family and friends, and how I’m not alone, because I have God and my faith family by my side to support me, every step of the way.-Sam N.

Luke has helped me in many ways. I really enjoyed the recent Lukers’ weekend. The theme was ‘Faith is a Decision’ and I was able to learn many new things. During the weekend, I was able to take a step backward to look back at my life. It made me value those around me, especially my friends and family. I realized that I take many things for granted in this life and that I should start appreciating the little things too. I am now grateful for all the blessings that God has given me. I was able to strengthen my relationship, my trust, and my faith in the Lord. I found my own family in this community. My favorite part would probably be meeting new people. I made many new friends. I found people who care for me and people who I care for. Luke helped me in accepting others and learning to love others despite our differences. It doesn’t matter if you’re different, because God created us all in His image and likeness. He made us uniquely and we should thank Him for that. We are one Church, one community. This experience has truly shaped me into a better person. Without a doubt, it was one of the best weekends of my life. I was able to strengthen my faith and have so much fun at the same time. It’s one experience that I’ll never forget. God is now very important to me. He has done so much for me. Because of Luke, I have decided to choose faith. I have no idea where I would be without my Luke community, without my family.-Bella M.

This weekend meant a lot to me, we had talks, meals, sharings and new friends! I found it sad that it was so fast but I met a lot of people like Tasha and Sam. I wish the weekend was longer I miss you guys already! Anyway see you guys at the meetings!! -Julianna E.

I’m glad that I went to the weekend because I was able to meet other Lukers and learn new things. Faith is a decision and I learned to keep my faith. After listening to the wonderful talks of the BB’s, I realized that everything is a blessing and how Luke 18 helps me become more faithful. I don’t really have a favorite a favorite part of the weekend because the whole experience was great. From the wonderful talks, having meals together, the singing, games, sleeping in the Parish Center, hanging in the hallways, the prodi stations, these are the things that made it super special. I think the whole experience was great because I got to do this with my Faith Family. After this experience, I hope I’ll still be active and attending the meetings and I hope that I can be an SS for the 64th!! Luke 18 is one of the greatest blessings to me. -Jianina E.

Over the weekend, I came to a whole lot of realizations about myself and my life as one of the faithful. I learned how family and friends are some of the greatest gifts from God and treasuring them and showing your appreciation for them is vital to a happy life. Being put into the shoes of the prodigal son elicited a flux of emotions out of me. I realized that life may seem a struggle at times but you will always have someone or something to live for, such as your family who loves you unconditionally. These blessings from God are what make life worth living. I also realized how big Luke is for me. Despite being new to the community, I have already come to the conclusion that Luke is such a big part of my life because it gives me an opportunity to meet other Catholics my age who are all looking for the true meaning of friendship and happiness in the Lord and found it through Luke 18. There is not one word that can encompass how strong my feelings are for my family, friends, faith and faith family after that meaningful and amazing weekend. This weekend spent fellowshipping with the Lord on the mountaintop is one adventure I will treasure to the end of my days. -Carlos C.

Weekend X… A Luke back, this weekend was a weekend for the lukers to experience what it was like to be a candidate again. We got to understand ourselves and how we have a choice in God’s plan.-Nico P.

I think the Prodi “activity” was my favorite part of this weekend. The way we went through the whole “journey” and then comforted each other at the end really showed how much of a family we are. Luke will always be my family. I love my fellow lukers so much.-Paolo G.

Throughout this weekend I felt nothing but love. Love from the ALs, BBs, Antiochers, and my fellow Lukers. I experienced being loved in so many ways, even through being hurt. I also learned that having faith is believing without seeing because that’s what makes it Faith. We don’t see God, but we believe in Him, and that’s what I think makes us a great community. Our faith is so strong that we pass it on to people who are getting lost in their own lives and making them see the beauty in God through the Luke 18 community. This weekend also untied us as lukers. We broke down the walls we made towards the close friends we met through Luke and the community itself and learned how to accept everyone in the community. The part I loved most in the weekend was The Prodigal Son. it showed me that throughout life we have to learn to be grateful for the things we already have, like our family who will support us no matter what and our faith family who we can always turn to whenever we need someone to listen to us and who will accept us for who we really are. more importantly, and it showed us Lukers the feeling of being “home” after being lost in our struggles, problems, mistakes and insecurities. -Bianca M.

“This new Luke experience brought me hints of nostalgia. I was reminded of how this community is so loving and accepting, and how they make getting closer with God that much easier.”-Nathan R.

“When I found out about the WeekendX, I had no idea what they had in stored for us. I mean, we’ve already experienced the Luke18 weekend before so I really had no idea how this weekend will go. As I experienced this Lukers’ weekend, I learned so much about myself and about my faith in God. I gained more memories, developed bonds and most importantly, I grew closer to God. I found the sense of belonging towards my faith family during the WeekendX and I just love the fact that I can call this place home for this is where I found my faith family and this is where we call ourselves family. I am totally looking forward to the next Luke18 weekends to come to keep the community alive and to continue to Spread God’s Love. “-Diego R.

I felt very thrilled with being part of Luke Eighteen’s special weekend. It was a trip back to memory lane for I was able to experience the happiness, love and change I felt when I was first introduced to the community. It made me think about of how Luke 18 helped me evolve as a person, and it also made me realize how much love I have and is willing to give to the community. Honestly, I had plans of leaving and being inactive but I guess God gave me a sign (through the special weekend) that I was needed in order to spread his love even more. Luke 18 was indeed part of my transformation as a person , and because of this I will be forever grateful to the community. -Andee P.

“The first Luke Reunion weekend was inspirational and unforgettable. This unique experience brought me into a deeper relationship with God, introducing me to a whole new level of faith and spirituality. I learned that we are given a ‘Choice of Faith Decisions’, that God is merciful, and that its important be part of the faith community.”-Cathy O.

“When I joined the Luke weekend, I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. The first thing I learned was that a family is not a family without faith. The second thing I learned is that you can choose to be close to your family. The third thing I learned was that it is better to forgive an forget than dwell on the past. My favorite part was the singing because singing the Luke songs reminds me that we’re one whole big family because we is together an we accept each other for who we are.”-Lizzie O.