Let us recall three important ideas
from yesterday’s retreat:

First, the Lord’s reason
for emptying His heart completely
on the cross was the same reason
He embraced the empty sound in Gethsemane
–the sinner’s experience of estrangement from God:
His unconditional love and tender mercy
towards us.

So whenever you feel God is hidden or distant
from you for whatever reason,
Jesus is near because He’s been through the same–
and more.

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Big Idea #2: God’s Will could never be something evil.
So when we say, “It’s God’s Will for Jesus to die on the cross,”
what we actually mean is that
“God allowed the crucifixion to happen
as a consequence of Jesus following His Will–
that He remain true to His mission, no matter what.”

We too are called by God to do good–
and sometimes that means there are painful consequences.
The challenge is to say “Yes” to God’s Will
like the Lord did
even if it means facing the not-so-good consequences.

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Finally, the Crucified Lord teaches us
what faith means:
It’s not about being 100% sure;
rather, it’s about being 100% committed
even and especially if one is not sure
and things are far from black and white.

So if you have questions or doubts about our faith,
don’t worry. These questions and doubts
can serve as doors to a deeper faith.
Just have the courage–and yes, the faith!–
to open those doors and walk in!

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Among these three big ideas,
which one struck you the most–and why?

If you wish, do respond to this question
under COMMENTS below.

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100% commitment in the face of doubts.

I agree with and believe that when we experience the empty sound, we can count on Jesus being with us. (I relate this to the footprints in the sand.) When I gave in and answered God’s call, it was be one of the hardest things I went through, and I am still going through. It may be difficult to keep the faith when everything seems to be falling apart (and I question my decision answer God’s call to focus on teaching and my children.) But I pray I always find the strength and courage to keep walking until the chaos turns to calm, until it all makes sense, until I see the light. I have faith in God’s provision.

Following God’s Will is the most challenging. It isn’t often the easiest path & that will also test ones Faith.

Faith. I attended this retreat with a domestic problem. Although I have been praying for a solution to my problem, but nothing seems to happen. I realized I need to understand what Faith is, and pray to God to increase my faith , and wait for Him.

Love is given to us unconditionally thru death in the cross. He was both human and divine. He also felt abandoned and alone. He showed his divinity by having faith – doing God’s will. This retreat made me realize everything starts with Faith that no matter what happens it God’will be done.

2 things struck me –

First, today there is mention of unconditional love AND tender mercy as reasons for Good Friday. I was indeed shaken yesterday when Mercy was sole reason for this. Although that was good shaking… it kind of shook the image of my God.

Second, Faith as an action word is became so powerful, tangible and measurable for me.

Faith is not being 100% sure but 100% committed
Something that can be used in everyday decision.
Thank you for the inspiration

Faith that God is by our side even carrying even after He wills my confusion, weakness, suffering. Commitment to persevering, to acting on my realizations from this retreat.

(Praying and hoping that my realizations from this retreat really sink in and get acted upon. Too many things to juggle, weighed down by thoughts, worries, things to do…)

Thank you all for you sharing. Happy Easter!

To me faith means trusting fully that Jesus is with us every moment of every day, holding our hand as we navigate the highs and lows of our lives, teaching us lessons along the way and loving us so much He wants only good for us. He knows what’s best for us. We only think we do.

Faith as 100% commitment and not necessarily 100% certainty. We have to learn how to trust God in whatever path He’s taking us knowing that it is within His will. Too often, we as people want to have control over things. And sometimes, this does not allow us to discover whatever God’s plan has been for us.

The emptiness that Jesus experienced gives us hope that we are not alone but in the same company of Jesus, our savior.

Big idea # 3 – that the crucified Christ teaches us that faith is not 100% certainty but 100% commitment in the face of doubts and questions.
I didnt think of it that way before.

For me, it’s God’s will – for the greater good despite the consequences…it reminds me that as i go through life and choose to follow Jesus, i should also be prepared to carry my cross. It will not be an easy journey but i have to persist and keep the faith.

God’s will. The greater good despite the consequences struck me the most. It’s difficult enough to discern if I am doing His will. Once I’m in the right direction it becomes even more difficult because doing His will entails consequences. The call to holiness is not a straight path.

All three big ideas made such meaningful impact on me, but what’s most striking was #3 FAITH is not about being 100% sure; rather, it’s about being 100% committed even and especially if one is not sure and things are falling apart. It speaks of my current predicaments and it makes me feel affirmed that God is walking me through them. This brings peace to my heart.

We did not have the benefit of Christ’s experience BEFORE the empty sound. Yes, it can give greater meaning to our human faith – talagang halos walang certainty. Confidence lang.

But it can be so dark. Too dark…

What struck me most is that Faith is 100% commitment. I never thought of it that way. Faith seemed like willing for things to happen. But it isn’t. It’s committing to walk with the Lord and trusting in His plan.

Faith is 100% commitment despite the doubts and questions. As we start a journey in a new ministry, trials and chellenges tends to put off the fire in us; from resources to commitment of persons involved. But by the grace of God, we remain steadfast in our mission – to bring christ to the marketplace. God has given us the gift of faith to move forward no matter what the cost maybe. Our faith tells us that we are just instruments of God. We commit 100% and God will lead us the way.

Faith. It is to be faithful to God no matter what the circumstances are. Despite the odds, I believe that His Will be done. Trusting God is not easy in this day and age, however, through this retreat, I find solace at the thought that God will never abandon me.

I am more struck by God’s will, because it is really hard to determine if it his will or not. God only asks us is to be obedient to his will despite the consequences.

The empty sound- being abandoned, humiliated, persecuted, death. God was silent, but was never absent. He believed in me. I needed that silence to allow me to seek Him. I needed the silence to let go of my pride and offer to Him what I have left. In His silence, in His presence, I am held.

Big idea # 3 – Faith is not 100% certainty but 100% commitment in the face of doubts and questions.

Jesus chose to commit and to obey the Father. His love and mercy flowing out from his heart and into humanity.

Being Christian, remaining true and faithful, offers me yo follow God’s Will. It is always humanly challenging to put others before self beyond words. The consequence is always coming face to face with my cross which also purifies. All I desire is for God’s grace to carry me through my limitations as I serve Him while I embrace my cross joyfully to the very end. I wish too I will be a blessing to everyone around me esp those I love.

What resonated with me were the ideas that God’s will may have consequences, and that faith takes commitment. What I experienced last year showed me how true these ideas are. I realize it is hard to be a follower of Jesus because there will be times you will put yourself in harm’s way, and you have to commit amid uncertainty. No one wants hurt and uncertainty, yet, these are part of the package when you want to be obedient to God.

It struck me how God’s mission and will for us is not always a happy and smooth-sailing one. There will be consequences and bad days and events, but that doesn’t mean God is not with us. Whatever happens, God will always be with us. This is really a beautiful realization.

I asked Jesus what keeps Him from accepting His passion and He said that He remembers me….

Such a profound experience….Been crying for 3 days now because of this retreat.

Being committed despite uncertainty. This is what goes to mind, and in my situation it applies to all that needs to be done in the next few weeks. I am uncertain if I can do all of them, but I will try. I also need to manage the consequences. Still thinking on that one. I need to still exercise and see to my relationships and to my prayers despite being busy in the real world.

It is the Big Idea #3 which is about Faith.
There are times my faith dwindles, especially if a prayer has not been answered. But i have to always pary for my faith to remain strong and remember that God will not abandon me.

“We too are called by God to do good–
and sometimes that means there are painful consequences.”

In the course of this Holy Week, I have come to realize that when we are called by Jesus, who reaches out to us for a tight, heartfelt embrace, drawing us closer to Him, it’s inevitable that the thorns from the crown on His head would pierce parts of our face. He has given us the free will to pull away and refuse the embrace because what come with it can hurt so much…but if we say our wholehearted Yes to Him, we can focus more on the fact that we are held tightly to Him, and perhaps that would draw our attention away from the pain that comes with the embrace.

Jesus understands us…but when He invites us to draw that much closer to Him, perhaps it’s because He is inviting us to get to know and understand Him that much more clearly.

#2. Obeying God’s will for the greater good despite the painful consequences. Dying to self in obedience to God’s will is to me the most difficult part about being a Christian. There is fear and resistance that His will is one that deprives me of what I desire most for myself.

But then again, if I think about the greater good that will be served by obeying God’s will, the pain becomes less (though still there) because I know that my sacrifice of letting go of what I love the most would not be in vain — people who need more help than I do will stand to benefit from my self-sacrifice.

Lord, teach me to be selfless and to be accepting of Your Will for me, trusting that you have my best interest at heart because you truly love me. Amen.

What resonated with me was remembering that faith is commitment even when you feel alone and abandoned.

I think we will always have doubts and FAITH will help us in our struggle, with God’s MERCY and LOVE.

“God allowed the crucifixion to happen
as a consequence of Jesus following His Will–
that He remain true to His mission, no matter what.”

This means God allows adversities to happen to me as a consequence of following God’s Will – that I remain true to my mission, no matter what. Gulp. Scary…

” Just have the courage – and yes, the Faith, to open those doors and walk in.” This is what I need most! Thank you so much Father!

Lord, fill me with your tender mercy and unconditional love.
Your will, not mine, be done.
Help me keep the faith.

I think the concept of faith being about commitment rather than certainty struck me the most. Many times, we want to be certain about what we’re doing and what things are about to happen in our lives. However, it’s just not possible to know everything that God has planned for us, which is why making the commitment is such a difficult step. That’s why faith is so special; it’s being able to commit despite not knowing what’s going to happen.

All three big ideas resonate with me as I have struggled through all three at various stages. Perhaps the one that I need to constantly remind myself of is #3 – That faith is not about being 100% sure but is about being 100% committed.

For me this is especially true during times when I struggle with my marriage and questions like “Is this truly where I’m supposed to be?” persist. I just need to remind myself of the commitment I made before God and before man, and stay committed despite the difficulties.

Faith is 100% commitment to friend who has given His all to me.
Whenever I am tempted to count the cost of my service believing I deserve the grace I want to receive just because I am serving: I remember service is a mere expression of my gratitude to Him to has given his all. So even if at times at work I am not recognized, not thanked for the services I render I remember I am committed to Him because I want to love Him back

To follow God’s will for the greater good even if it means facing the not so good consequences. Sometimes the will of God is way out of our comfort zone. Our yes to His will could at times means being hurt, being rejected, being humiliated. But despite all these, He is asking us to trust Him, that all the consequences that we bear will not be wasted, for His plan and His will would always be for our greater good.

Faith even if I am not sure but I am committed. So many instances of questions and doubts but I was always holding on to my faith no matter what . That was probably the only reason why I continued despite a feeling that the struggles were endless and my tears didn’t dry up. Thank you Lord Jesus for reminding me of your pain and yet went on to save us .

I am still perturbed by #2.
How to accept God’s will when the consequences are so painful. Not just for myself, but for the people I love , my country.
I have known the feeling of abandonment , and God’s mercy filled me.
And when I face uncertainty , I tell myself to trust , to commit to Him 100%.
But the pain….

The past painful experiences in life reminds me now that it came to happen so I can fulfill God’s mission and that is to minister others through my pain…

As I journey here on earth, I pray that through my Yes and Faith in God, I, through me, his people will taste heaven here on earth. All for Love.


What struck me the most is the reality of me being called by God to do good and at times, with painful consequences in doing it.

Dear Jesus, please give me the grace to do good even when it would cost some pain or kinda sacrifice on my part. Please teach me to “die” to myself or to sacrifice for your greater glory and for the good of my family, the church and the society. Amen.

Jesus has shown me the greatest example of faithfulness and commitment to the Will of God. His faithfulness to save me, no matter how difficult it gets. Secondly, His commitment to the Father who willed that His only Son come down from heaven to be born and be one with us, live among us, suffer and die as man, not as God.

It was St. Teresa of Calcutta who said, ” God does not expect us to be successful, but He expects us to be faithful.”

Big idea #3. We may not be 100% certain but it’s the 100% commitment that makes us go on.
Whenever we are faced with a problem… when others might feel the absence of God, you .ove forward believing that He has allowed suvh challenges in one’s life not to crish someone but to mold that person into a stronger, better person. We move forward trusting that He has plans for us. It may not be what we wish but His thoughts and His deeds are way beyond our thoughts and deeds. Tiwala lang

What struck me the most is the thing about FAITH. Yes, it truly requires 100% commitment, even if things are not sure. After all, that’s what faith is – to still continue the journey.

Wow, when I read Big idea #3, it hits my heart bulls eye! Indeed, faith is not about being 100% sure, rather it is being 100% committed to heed God’s call even when one is not sure and things are far from black and white. I am exactly in this stage right now. Taking a major leap in life, giving up my longest existing comfort zone, and just letting go of what I have now and going to unchartered waters is not easy. But this idea is reassuring for me. I just need to hold on to the fact that all God is asking is to trust Him, and as the previous idea presented, God’s will is never evil.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Lord, grant us the faith to completely believe in your love and goodness, and to live our lives according to what believe in. Amen.

The idea that “God allowed” what the traumatic and brutal event to happen is better than the “God’s will” idea …
but it still leaves a lot of questions in one’s mind and heart why it was allowed… especially if one also considers the other stream of thought about Jesus’ birth, sin or no sin…
i find this important as I grapple with the consequences of how to understand sin, the integrity of being human and in God’s image, its impact on one’s stance on retributive and restorative justice whether for personal of communal situations, how these ideas impact our response to the social issues and killings in the midst of the Philippines being hailed as a majority Catholic country…

accepting Gods will.
We often cast doubts when things are knot going our way– as if He is not listening.What it is is that He is also teaching us patience to understand His will.He will not put us through difficulties without being by our side to see us through.He knows by making us endure the challenges He us teaching us and preparing us for something far greater. and that requires 100% commitment on our part

accepting Gods will.
We often cast doubts when things are knot going our way– as if He is not listening.What it is is that He is also teaching us patience to understand His will.He will not put us through difficulties without being by our side to see us through.He knows by making us endure the challenges He us teaching us and preparing us for something far greater. and that requires 100% commitment on our part

Faith not about being 100% sure but being 100% committed
even and especially if one is not sure.
This is the biggest lesson I am learning for the past year. I had to let go of my chronic need to control outcomes, which can also be attributed to my lack of faith. Doing so relieved me of so much anxiety, worry and also strengthened my trust on Him.

Remembering these 3 things: God’s unconditional love and tender mercy, God’s will is never something evil and Faith in God is being 100% committed in the face of doubt and uncertainty. So blown away by these realizations.

In the past, those uncertainties created doubts which made me lose faith in God. But understanding these Big Ideas, and remembering these should help my Deepen my faith in Him.

Thank you!!

Faith is not 100% certainty but 100% commitment. GOD is always faithful to us that is 100% commitment; even as we sin, commit mistakes and hurt HIM so deeply. And that is why HE constantly reminds us by dying on the cross that HE loves us so
much and gives the grace of mercy for us to go back to HIM and once more commit ourselves to HIM.

In a moment of despair, when I would almost gave up, I heard Jesus in my heart, speaking in a gently reassuring manner, ” Wala ka atang tiwala sa akin…” I felt reassured, even a touch embarrassed by what may have sounded as doubt on my part.

I go back this moment of prayer time and again. Jesus loves unconditionally. Tenderly, mercifully.

Last night, I spent an hour, pondering about the difference between “God’s Will” and “God allowed”. What kind of a Father would allow His son to be crucified? Surely, it was the Lord’s Grace that led me to that peaceful moment when I accepted the mystery of God’s ultimate sacrifice.

Faith is believing 100% certainty that God’s words are true, real and will materialize.

God’s Will could never be something evil. – “God’s plan is for us to prosper and not harm us. “Jeremiah 29:11. Pain and adversities do happen for a better cause. I have gone through plenty and will choose these to happen if I’d be asked to bring back time because it made me learn so much – knowledge not explicitly written in books but are now carved in my heart. These pains and difficult/challenging times were not God’s will. But HE was there all the time quietly assisting me and He led me through extraordinary experience and realization of His ultimate power and undeniable truth of His promises – that He is indeed real and is within our reach. He is very near that in fact He resides within us, beside us, around us. But He is very gentle and will not force His will (doing good, etc.). I need and want to always choose His will (be positive, follow His ways, commandments, teachings) and it’s an everyday decision. Because in doing so, I feel so connected with Him.

Big idea #2: Remain true to His mission, NO MATTER WHAT! This still reels in my head and requires us to be steadfast, faithful, unwavering…

I especially liked Big Idea #3: faith is not 100% certainty but 100% commitment in the face of doubt and questions. It reminds me of a beautiful quote from a movie I watched for Holy Week, Full of Grace, where Mary says to Peter: “Faith is not about explaining things. It is about living, and breathing, and walking in that light that is upon us.”

Though all ideas touched me profoundly, idea no. 2 is the one that surfaces a deep pain. I have struggled with decisions to terminate some people from work due to performance or integrity issues. The decisions were never mine but that of a committee which I chair, and as a non-voting chair, I have always argued for the lesser sanction, such as suspension or probation, and the more formative approach, such as, mentorship. I realize that termination is a valid decision that is commensurate to the violation, but still, I have always wondered whether the decision was in accordance with God’s will. Did God want them to lose their jobs? Of course not. It was their own doing that they lost their jobs, not God’s will. I keep thinking of the painful consequences of the termination to their families. Something always ached inside after every decision is handed down. And the question remains: what is God’s will for them? Did I participate in a just exercise to bring them to another path to which they are called? Or was my participation useless in giving the person a second chance at change, that which is God’s will for him/her? Is my role in all this God’s will for me?

100% commitment in the face of almost complete uncertainty is the essence of true faith in God, ourselves and others

Among the Big Ideas > #1 is the most striking -UNCONDITIONAL LOVE & TENDER MERCY >>> w/ the Lord’s LOVE for Us >>> We need Nothing more , all Else follows ~ w/His Tender Mercy we are ASSURED THAT HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US – HE’s got our back – No Matter how UNWORTHY WE ARE – We are always welcome to GO BACK TO HIM & w/LOVING ARMS HE WILL ACCEPT US-no conditions!!
I love you Lord!❤️

Faith is 100% commitment – for the first 2 is already given to me- His unconditional love and mercy – that enables me to face life’s many challenges and trials. The 3rd is a reminder to me to meet with Jesus everyday in prayer, work and relationships, esp my family.

Big ideas #s 1 and 3 remain deep within me:
– the unconditional love and tender mercy of God towards us.
– being 100% committed even and especially if one is not sure
and things are far from black and white.

Thank you, dear Jesus, for keeping the faith for our sake… that we may one day share your glory in our heavenly homeland. Amen.

Big Ideas #3- I am keeping the faith no matter what. We will not allow others to infkuence us to doubt and question God. Yes, we personally might doubt but it is our opportunity to continue our commitment and keep that faith in order for Jesus to fulfill it. It is never a ‘bed-of-roses’ when we decided to follow Him. We are journeying with Jesus Paschal mystery, therefore, we will be tested as we work our way towards Him. Just keep the faith. Amen

For me, it is Big Idea #2 – God’s Will could never be something evil. Sometimes, events are really difficult to understand. And this is where our faith is tested. Yes, with a lot of courage, we have to open the doors and walk in so that our worries will subside and we will eventually know God’s Will for us.

The idea that faith means a 100% commitment despite a not 100% certainty is scary. Lord, please increase my faith.

To follow God’s will in spite of the not-so-pleasant consequences speaks to the part of me that still hangs on to the magical belief that following God’s will means things will be perfectly fine according to MY expectations once I say yes. My experiences, which are outcomes of saying yes to God’s will after a difficult discernment process, have been teaching me that, while God will never fail to hold my hand, it doesn’t mean everything will be according to MY fairytale expectations of how things should be.

That FAITH is 100% commitment in God and His WILL will never be something evil… that’s why when we let go and let God we commit to Him 100%, no doubts, no questions even in the good and bad times we will not lose our faithfulness in Him because He will only give what is best for us, in His right time! Thank you for strengthening my faith.

Yes – 100% no doubt because doubt is the initial step to refusing God’s will of us being prosperous, happy and peaceful – all to bring fruits to others as our offering to God and glorify Him. Faith is 100% certainty that this is bound to happen!

The big idea that strick me the most is God’s unconditional love. The reason He sent Jesus to us is really to show us what love really means, how to love and who to love and we were also created to love. So in summary we were created to love and Jesus was sent to us to show us how to love. To give up ones life for the sake of the other. To give without counting the cost.

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