Weekend with Rabboni

The Weekend with Rabboni, a discovery weekend under the guidance of  Rt. Rev. Bishop Bernard Paul of Malacca Johore Diocese took place in Majodi Centre, Plentong, Masai, Johor Bahru on the 20th and 21st of May 2017. The retreat was participated by 40 people from Johor, Melaka and K.L. which included three language groups namely English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. The weekend was also facilitated by a priest, nuns and seminarians.

This weekend was a part of a follow up from a previous Weekend with Rabonni held in Melaka in February 2017. Participants who joined came initially with many reasons, questions and uncertainties. Many went with the idea that vocations would always be associated with religious life but Bishop enlightened participants with the idea that vocations also included married life, single life and career paths. When some of the participants heard about the weekend, they were very curious about the retreat and how it could help them to discover or discern their vocation in life. Another interesting thing was the fact the Bishop opened registrations for females as well which was a rare occurrence.

Bishop Bernard shared about his vocation story where he experienced God’s intervention in his choices. One impactful statement that Bishop made was that he had to sacrifice and give up many things in life to begin his journey to be who he is today. Bishop focused on St. Peter’s loyalty and determination to emulate. The readings that Bishop shared showed how St. Peter was called and how he responded. He knew of his unworthiness but Jesus told him to follow and he obediently picked up his cross and followed Him.

Participants also shared that they learnt how insecure they felt and were not ready to be God’s instrument in the world. However, God puts aside insecurities and sees the person’s good as we are made in the image and likeness of God. In addition, the activities planned throughout the weekend steered towards participants realizing their ultimate destination in life is and always has been Christ whether they acknowledge it or not. Everybody would be confused along the way but with Christ, they could find the way.

During the homily, Bishop shared on the 3R’s of Transformation. The 3R’s are namely Respond, Receive and Reverence. We need to respond to the call of God in our lives as we begin to spend more time in prayer. Receive the crosses that will come our way and reverence for God as we learn to respect Him more and more as our relationship with Him deepens. Bishop then took the Easter Pascal Candle which symbolizes the Resurrected Christ as the light of the world and passed it around the participants reminding them that they are called to be Christ’s light in the world where ever they may be and not to shy away from His calling. As a conclusion, to those who are seeking their vocation should participate in the next Weekend with Rabboni.

 Written by,
Eugene Wong & Clementine Vikneswari
Young Adults Youth Group Melaka (YAYG)