Blaise Cedrick Nethercott Gomez, 29, married, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, major in Multimedia.
A photographer, Blaise had many questions about religion that made it difficult for him to practice his Catholic Faith. But in time, he found answers that, in his words, “pacified my troubled mind.”
He lives in Quezon City.
I AM a product of a university that encourages critical thinking and academic and intellectual freedom. So I learned to challenge every social concept and norm.
Yes, I challenged even the concept of God and religion. Questions plagued my mind and challenged the belief that regular Sunday catechism gave me. Questions like:
If there’s a God, why is there so much hate and anger in the world? Amid all of these chaos and inequality, what is the Church doing to help ease the plight of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Where is God during these times of difficulty and anarchy? Is religion still relevant?
It took me years to finally pacify my troubled mind. I read, researched, and discussed my issues with peers— like how a real scholar should when searching for the truth.
As a result,I concluded that perhaps God is real but religion is, at best, an option for a life worth living. My point was, if the Holy Bible indeed contained everything that we need to live a moral life why do we still need religion?
During this period in my life I attended Sunday Mass regularly but not for the right reasons. I was there not to take part in the holy ceremony but just to observe.
The Sunday Mass looked to me as a useless ritual that society required Church members to participate in, in exchange for social acceptance. During the homily, I heard priests who seemed to be more interested in local showbiz gossip and the latest twist in the local teleserye than explaining the Gospel to the common Juan. So that did not help.
Sometimes I heard priests who were able to explain the Gospel logically—but that was a rare occurrence.
It seemed to me that I would eventually end up like my friends in the university who believed in the existence God but not in the importance of religion. I absolutely agreed with Mahatma Gandhi when he said, “…I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Because it made total sense to me: if God was love, then why are Christians fighting and hurting each other? Why is there still corruption, division, and inequality? I was certainly not seeing Christ in the community of believers that I was in.
Finding The Feast
One day, my parents and I accepted the invitation of our friends, Peter and Fe Zambale, to attend The Feast at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) where they have been attending and serving regularly.
At first, my parents excused themselves from attending The Feast, saying that the venue was too far from where we live—in the northern part of Quezon City. Besides, the round trip fare was expensive.
Then it happened. In 2011, a few days before Christmas, my mother slipped and fell outside a mall. She suffered a broken leg, so she was confined in hospital. There, while she waited for her leg to heal, she conversed with God and promised that once she is able to walk, we will all attend The Feast. Then as soon as she could, even with a heavy cast on her leg, she brought all of us to Feast PICC.
Upon hearing Bro. Bo Sanchez’s explanation of God’s word, I slowly but surely changed my mind about religion’s importance in my life.
It is in attending The Feast every Sunday that I discovered the Light of Jesus Family and experienced the kind of caring community of Christians that I was longing for.
My hobby is photography so I attended the Photojournalism for the Lord seminar conducted by the Feast Media Ministry and I joined The Feast bulletin’s pool of photographers. To this day, I also use the skills I learned from the seminar to spread God’s message to others through social media.
Back to the Church
The priests who celebrate Mass in The Feast made me appreciate the importance of this Eucharistic celebration, explaining the Gospel in a manner that I can understand.
The cool, quiet Plenary Hall of PICC helps enhance the solemnity of the Mass– this is in contrast to most churches where the environment is less than ideal for meditation and understanding God’s message.
Once I was filled with God’s love, I decided to share it— by serving full time in our parish church’s choir group as a guitarist as well as in another community’s music ministry.
So, I’ve been through an amazing journey– from being a skeptic and critic of religion to a true believer, follower, and servant of God. God indeed has His way of winning His people back.
In my case, I was able to appreciate God and the highest form of praise, the Mass, through The Feast and the Light of Jesus Family.
God, through the talks of Bro. Bo Sanchez, erased all my logical arguments against religion and replaced them with His everlasting, overflowing love.
As Stanley Lindquist put it: “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them.”
I found and understood such meaning at The Feast.