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Runaway

I think it was taken from a novel, which I can’t remember the title.

+Ngga adil, ya, kita ngerasa ini. Maksud aku, kenapa kita ngga bisa bersama-sama terus?
-Karena kita akan melukai orang yang bersama kita, kamu tau itu.
+Well, walau bagaimanapun, gue ngga pernah nyesel kenalan sama loe, walaupun akhirnya mesti seperti ini, walaupun hati gue sakit.
-Gue juga, tau kenapa?
+Napa?
-Karena walaupun kita berjalan ke dua arah yang berlawanan, loe tetap tetep ada di sini, di dalam hati gue. Mungkin  ini terakhir kalinya kita ketemu, tapi elu ngga akan pernah hilang dari dalam diri gue.
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Krisma… Sudah selesai!

Pertama-tama, Proficiat untuk 133 penerima Sakramen Krisma di Gereja St. Petrus malam tadi. Sebuah perjalanan yang tidak mudah untuk para pengajar mau pun para peserta.

Di bulan Januari,ketika diminta untuk menjadi Koordinator Sakramen Krisma, saya tidak mempunyai ekspektasi apa-apa. Bahkan pada saat itu, Sakramen Krisma itu masih samar-samar karena saya memang tidak banyak tahu mengenai sakramen ini. Dan pada saat itu, tidak ada rencana untuk mengadakan Sakramen Krisma tahun ini di Paroki, sehingga saya tidak terlalu memikirkannya.

Di bulan Mei, mendadak saya mendapat mandat untuk mempersiapkan Kelas Sakramen Krisma, karena Pak Thomas, Koordinator seksi Katekese, mau menanyesuaikan jadwal Bapak Uskup ke Batam. Sewaktu itu, masih Administrator Apostolik Mgr. Yohanes Harun Yuwono.

Kelas persiapan penerimaan Sakramen Krisma dimulai bulan Agustus, kelas pertama.. berantakan.. Jujur, saya belajar sembari menjalankan prosesnya. Banyak yang harus saya improv dengan seiring perjalanan waktu. Mulai dari rencana untuk membuat 1 kelas, tetapi setelah melihat kelas pertama, saya jadikan 2 kelas. Belum lagi, ada peserta yang tidak bisa mengikuti kelas di Hari Minggu karena ada kegiatan lain yang tidak bisa diganti, sehingga saya membuat kelas susulan di hari Jumat.

Ada beberapa waktu di mana saya tidak mempunyai waktu yang cukup untuk mempersiapkan bahan. Untuk itu saya minta maaf. Tetapi saya selalu berusaha untuk memberikan yang terbaik. Saya percaya Tuhan akan menyempurnakannya.

Di penghujung kelas krisma, semakin banyak tantangan dan saya benar-benar bergantung penuh kepada campur tangan Tuhan. Waktu semakin sedikit dan ternyata begitu banyak yang harus dipersiapkan. Ada beberapa moment di mana jika diberi kesempatan untuk menyerah, maka saya akan mundur. Tetapi dengan padatnya waktu, itu bukan satu opsi. Saya harus benar-benar mempush diri saya untuk bisa terus berjuang dan itu tidak mudah. Saya kembali mengingat bahwa ini semua untuk ke-133 peserta yang selalu hadir setiap Minggu dan untuk kemuliaan Tuhan.

Sewaktu misa tadi, saya mendadak merasa haru ketika melihat para calon krismawan dan krismawati maju untuk menerima sakramen krisma. Di situ, saya tahu bahwa secara formal peran saya sudah selesai. Tidak ada lagi yang bisa saya lakukan. That’s it. Mulai dari saat ini sampai seterusnya, mereka sudah dianggap dewasa dalam iman oleh Gereja. Hopefully, I’ve done my best to plant the seed. Whatever I’ve planted, I might and might not see it in my lifetime. Hopefully, I will be able to know it in the next life.

Terima kasih untuk Bapa Uskup yang telah bersedia hadir, Para Pastor di paroki yang mendukung dan memberi bantuan. Selain itu pula, terima kasih untuk dukungan koordinator katekis, Pak Thomas Suprapto, para tim pengajar. Saya belajar banyak dari mereka. Terima kasih juga untuk para Krismawan dan Krismawati yang telah setia untuk mengikuti kelas krisma selama beberapa bulan terakhir ini.

Semoga para Krismawan dan Krismawati diberi hikmat untuk bisa menjadi saksi Kristus di lingkungan di mana mereka berada. Semoga Tuhan memberkati kita semua.

Brand New Beat

The next few months will be the most important time in my life. Therefore, I really want to document in through my writing. I will try to write as often as possible despite my busy schedule.

How about that for a new era?

Bapa Surgawi

Enam atau tujuh tahun yang lalu, saya mengikuti KOMJak. Di retret pembukanya Romo Harry mengajak peserta untuk menyanyikan lagu Bapa Surgawi.

Bapa Surgawi ajarku mengenal
Betapa dalamnya kasihMu
Bapa surgawi buatku mengerti
Betapa kasihMu padaku
Semua yang terjadi didalam hidupku
Ajarku menyadari kau selalu sertaku
Dihatiku selalu bersyukur padaMu
Karna rencanaMu indah bagiku

Jujur pada saat itu, saya tidak merasakan apa-apa. Saya ga familiar dengan lagunya, hanya tau itu lagu Nikita. Hanya moment itu cukup berkesan, mungkin karena menurut saya lagunya biasa saja dan kenapa romo pilih lagu ya?

Jadi sampai sekarang, lagu itu identik dengan romo Harry. Namun belakangan ini, saya semakin mengerti dan tersentuh dengan lagu ini dan bahkan menjadi satu lagu favorit kalau lagi nyetir.

Saya ga habis mikir, kenapa Tuhan mau ciptain saya? Kenapa Tuhan mengasihi saya. Rasanya ga nyata aja bahwa ada yang peduli, ada yang sayang sama saya. Walaupun mengetahui segala hal yang telah saya perbuat, namun kasih-Nya tetap ada untuk saya.

Dalam setiap kesalahan dan dosa yang telah saya buat, Tuhan tetap memperbaiki semuanya dan menjadikannya indah. Padahal Dia tidak harus melakukan itu semua.

Rasanya kalau mau direnungin “Saya dikasihi Tuhan,” maka tidak akan ada habisnya.

Terima kasih Tuhan..

A Closer Look at Faith and Work

Have Catholics and Protestants Resolved their Differences?

You could say that the Protestant Reformation officially ended in 1999. In that year Pope John Paul II and representatives of “subscribing Lutheran churches” signed a document titled, “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” Emerging from the specific and technical language of this twenty some-odd page document is a humble admission: The essential dispute between Roman Catholics and the first Protestants was grounded in an inadequate understanding of Justification by Faith. This document is a milestone in the efforts of the Church to honor the will of Jesus “that all may be one.”

Faith alone or faith and works? 

The trouble all stems from a basic misunderstanding of two biblical verses on both sides. Paul’s letter to the Romans proclaims that all humanity has been justified – that is put right with God – through the risen Christ (Rom 5:1-2). Salvation, in other words, is God’s free will gift to humanity. It cannot be earned, altered or affected by human action but can only be received through Faith. Paul explains that although Israel had the Law – divinely revealed instructions for how to act in a manner pleasing to God – it ultimately did them no good because the chosen people were unable to follow it. “For ‘no human being will be justified in his (God’s) sight’ by deeds prescribed by the law, for through he law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom 3:20).

And then there’s the letter of James. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that so faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (Jas 2:14-17). Martin Luther, the Catholic monk whose 95 Theses were the inspiration for the first phase of the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th Century despised these words of James. It is said he refused to recognize the letter of James as a divinely inspired book of the New Testament.

Luther’s reaction can now be seen much more clearly as a misinterpretation of James’ point. The letter of James was written some time – and possibly a generation after – Paul’s letter to the Roman’s. His point is not to negate Paul’s proclamation of God’s gift of salvation, but to develop it further. If a person has not been transformed by an encounter with God’s unconditional love through faith in the risen Christ in the way in which he or she acts towards those in need, then that person has not been in the presence of Christ at all. “Faith without works is dead,” in other words, because faith never existed in the first place.

Yet Luther’s reaction is quite understandable given Catholic abuses of the 16th century. The “vending machine” distortions of the high Middle Ages had left many of the faithful with the strong impression that while baptism may have spared them from the eternal damnation of Hell, there would still be much to atone for from the temporal punishment for their sin in Purgatory. In modern Catholic theology Purgatory is understood as a process that occurs outside of time and space; in Medieval theology it was understood much more as a place – with torments rivaling those of Hell! This primitive understanding of Purgatory coupled with a Church hierarchy generally fixated more on material wealth than on spiritual wealth created an unholy alliance manifested most scandalously in the buying and selling of Indulgences. Doing good deeds as a demonstration of Faith was increasingly replaced by paying large sums of money to Rome in order to shorten the time of punishment in Purgatory. “As a coin in the coffer sings,” so went the chant of a most notorious seller of indulgences, “a soul from Purgatory springs!”

Healing Words

“The present Joint Declaration has this intention: namely, to show that on the basis of their dialogue the subscribing Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ” (Joint Declaration, sect. 5). With these words the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification provides the healing balm on a wound in the Body of Christ that is five centuries old. The reason for this coming together is not a denial of history, but a recognition that both the Catholic and Lutheran churches have matured in their theology: “this Joint Declaration rests on the conviction that in overcoming the earlier controversial questions and doctrinal condemnations, the church neither takes the condemnations lightly nor do they disavow their own past. On the contrary, this Declaration is shaped by the conviction that in their respective histories our churches have come to new insights” (sect 7).

Having introduced its essential premise the document then goes on to in some detail the proper theological understanding on the relationship between Justification through Faith and demonstrations of faith through good works. “The foundation and presupposition of justification is the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ. Together we confess: by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works” (Sect 15).

The document further goes on to point out that “In the (Lutheran) doctrine of ‘justification by faith alone,’ a distinction but not a separation(emphasis added) is made between justification itself and the renewal of one’s way of life that necessarily follows from justification and without which faith does not exist” (sect 26). Faith and works are, in the words of the old song, like love and marriage. You can’t have one without the other. “We confess together that in Baptism the Holy Spirit unites one with Christ, justifies, and truly renews the person. But the justified must all through life constantly look to God’s unconditional justifying grace” (sect 28).

Unfortunately, this groundbreaking Declaration has not been widely and enthusiastically embraced by the Church. The words of Abraham Lincoln reflecting on the reception of his memorable second Inaugural Address may help us understand why it takes so much time before our own agendas and those of God can coincide: “Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.” Let our prayer be that this document will come to take its rightful place in the consciousness of the faithful as a fundamental building block of the Church of the third millennium.

Wow.. It’s like going back to university again. I believe it’s one of the longest post here.

You were Treated Unjustly?

This topic came up to me while I was doing my morning reading (while waiting for my mum doing grocery shopping in the market).

“If you ever feel that you’ve been treated unjustly, remember that Jesus was treated unjustly to the point of death on the Cross. You have to accept the punishment for love of Christ.”
~Fr. Harvey, 2008, “Called by Name”

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