by Evelyn Sam
KUWAIT, APR 12, 2017: The Youth Pasch was held on April 6 at IEAS, Kuwait and around 40 youth participated in it.
Father Lionel Braganza, Father Francisco Pereira and Father Xavier D'souza conducted the Pasch, along with support from the Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) core team. It was a reflective, uplifting and healing moment for many youth- who had gathered from all the four parishes in Kuwait.
The Pasch led the youth to experience the true essence of the three most important days - Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday; a journey within, to simulate the journey of the Christ. It began with a brief introduction by Father Braganza who blessed the event and quoted the Scripture verse, "Many were called but few were chosen."
A session on the Spiritual Life of the early Church was conducted by Father Pereira and the participants were divided into groups for discussion of Scripture passages with a set of questionnaires. The experience was an eye opener to see how a community or youth-centric parish, can emulate their love for Christ through different works and deeds.
An adaptation of the celebration of the solemnity of Maundy Thursday followed. The Youth Director, Father D'souza explained the key events and sequence of the Last Supper, followed by reflective questions within the designated groups.
The highlight of the Pasch was the Seder meal celebration, where the Last Supper scene of Jesus with His disciples was created for the participants in a candle-lit room with wine glasses, salted water, supper consisting of bitter herbs, unleavened bread and a sweet condiment made of dates and nuts. This was followed by the Washing of the Feet.
Every act of the Last Supper was explained by Father Braganza and Father Pereira. It helped the youth experience the blessed night of the solemn feast of the disciples with the Lord.
Natasha Fernando, a participant from Ahmadi Parish said, "The washing of the feet touched me and taught me that Jesus was a humble man and we must be like him. It reminded me that Christ in His love absorbed the penalty of our sins by dying on the Cross." In imitation of Christ, all the youth washed each other's feet with humility.
Father Pereira said, "Jesus being the Son of God and a teacher, went down on his knees and washed his disciples' feet, which translates to us that we should also in our everyday lives and situations be humble enough to accept whatever the world gives."
Good Friday, being the most important day of Holy Week, the 14 Stations of the Cross were re-enacted by the youth, though with a difference. They witnessed the Way of the Cross from the perspective of Mary- the Mother of Jesus. She as a mother witnessed the brutal torture and anguish her only begotten Son was going through. The youth had an opportunity for confessions thereafter, where they wrote down their sins on paper and nailed it to the cross .
The sessions of Holy Saturday, began with a personal activity called, 'Who is Jesus to me?' The youth gathered around different images of Jesus – as the Good Shepherd, Jesus knocking at the door, among others - and were asked to choose the picture they identified with.
The Youth Pasch ended with a concelebrated Eucharistic Meal. After Holy Mass, the commitment sheets were handed out, wherein all stood true to the commitments they had signed up for in the beginning. Memorabilia was was also given to the youth.
Alvin Mathew, a participant said, "Youth Pasch reminded me that we are part of a big family and are all connected through Jesus who is the head of the family. Through us He wants to reach others as He loves us all. Despite our failings, he still loves us and calls us to continue serving one another in the faith. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer as the Lord knows what's best for us".