The Jesus Explosion XV was held in the Trinity East Secondary School, Trincity over the weekend July 14–16. It is the first time the East-West Corridor experienced the three-day event. The theme of the JEXV was taken from Luke 13:3, “I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all likewise perish”.
Coming off the heels of the successful establishment of the JE in the US Virgin Islands in March, and Slovenia in June, this has been an unprecedented year for the event and committee members.
The theme of Repentance was powerfully delivered by a team of priests. The feature speaker Fr Chester Smith from the USA had an animated style of preaching. He frequently posed this question,” What time is it?” The resounding response was “prime time”. He was making the point that ‘prime time’ meant getting closer to God which is the substance of repentance. Fr Chester related that it was a priest who had witnessed to him and his teenage peers, exhorting them to repent and draw closer to God. Repentance has been a daily walk with him ever since.
Fr Trevor Nathasingh described the Church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation, chapter three. He explained that there were many activities to correct others and the members were fervent. However they were not personally repentant and were actually drifting away from their loving relationship with God. This was a frightening exhortation and Fr Nathasingh spared no words in delivering them.
Fr Godfrey Stoute was ushered to his talk and invited to dance alongside JE Spiritual Director Fr Ian Taylor to Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’. It was a powerful witness that priests can enjoy themselves, too. Fr Stoute pointed out the common distractions drawing us into sin and left a deep impression on the listeners.
Fr Taylor’s talk meandered into a personal testimony of following the path God had in store regardless of the sacrifice. The hallmark of repentance is turning away from the individual way to God’s way, and bearing the fruit of righteousness. Fr Taylor painted a clear picture of this epic spiritual struggle by drawing on his experience from a romantic relationship in his youth, mixed with the call to evangelise and culminating in the decision to join the priesthood. Fr Taylor’s energy, humour, passion, conviction and authority deeply impacted on those gathered.
The encounters, experiences and activities at the JE are always Christ-centred. Many described the real and incredible encounters during the Blessed Sacrament ministry. Several young people had life-altering conversions with the joy, happiness and freedom of the Holy Spirit replacing the anger, regret and hopelessness.
The Praise and Worship was simply electrifying and there were moments when the entire assembly was jumping and dancing. The music took us to places we had definitely not been before!
The workshops were informative; edifying and equipping; participants felt that the 90 minute sessions were too short. There were long lines for confession, which bore testimony to the impact the conference had on the hearts of people.
An 18-member Guyanese missionary group, and a five-member contingent from Slovenia led by Sanja Obaha Brodnjak attended and thoroughly enjoyed the entire weekend.
With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli. He has been the celebrant and homilist for the closing Mass at JE for the past five years, and his ever lively and pointed style of preaching brought an end to the weekend of grace. He leaves for his new mission in Peru, and extended an invitation to JE to visit the South American country.
During the closing presentations, His Excellency awarded the Jesus Explosion with the Official Medal of Pope Francis for “the joyful commitment in evangelisation announcing the Good News among the young people”. This was indeed an honour for us and we give thanks to God for this work in the vineyard.
So what time is it? It’s Jesus Explosion Revival time carded for September. – Gregory Quan Kep, JE Committee