God Is with Me
by Roland Rebuyon
My name is Roland Rebuyon and I am 14 years old. I am a freshman at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. I graduated from St. Charles Borromeo Elementary School in Sacramento, California. I wrote this essay when I graduated from St. Charles in May 2008 to thank the school for the many wonderful memories and experiences it provided me. The school helped mold me into the person I am today. I am a lector, commentator, and altar server at St. Charles Borromeo Church. My hobbies are weightlifting, numismatics (coin collecting), boxing, and fishing with my dad and younger brother. I don’t know yet what I would like to do when I become an adult, but I would like to live a life of service. I would like to serve my community, my family, and my God and church. I would like to thank my parents for inspiring me to do my best in everything I do.
[Details about the Young Writers Award.]
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the day of my Baptism. I can’t remember too much of that day, but I know Jesus welcomed me into a family that would love me as much as my own. He told me that this was the beginning of my life in Him.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo School today. It was my first day of school. I told Him that I was scared to be away from my parents for the first time. Jesus told me not to be scared because He would be sitting beside me in my classroom. He also said that my mom and dad would probably stay outside my classroom all day, looking through the window to make sure I was okay.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the day of my first Confession. I told Him I was afraid to tell someone what I had done wrong. I thought that I would get in big trouble. Jesus told me not to be afraid because the priest that I would confess to was a special friend of His. He said that after I confessed, I would feel much better, because I would not have to carry the weight of what I had done wrong any longer.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the day of my first Holy Communion. I told Him that I never fully understood why my parents eat the little bread at Mass on Sundays. Jesus explained to me that Holy Communion was much more than the eating of bread. He said that through Communion, I would become a part of Him. He explained that through Holy Communion, we give thanks for the love of God poured out in His life, death and resurrection.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo School today. It was the day that I was going to bring home a report card that I was not proud of. I told Him I was afraid to disappoint my parents. They had worked so hard to give me the opportunity to come to this school. I wanted to respect their sacrifice by giving my best effort, but, unfortunately, this report card did not reflect that. He told me not worry because I did my best and that my parents would understand. He told me that one of the wonders of life is that there is usually a second chance to do better, and if that second chance comes, to take advantage of it.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the first day that I was an altar server. I told Him that I was nervous to be in front of such a large congregation and that I was not sure I knew what to do. He told me to relax and that no one expects me to be perfect the first time. He told me to remember my training and I would be fine. He also told me that He was very proud of me for choosing to serve my community and my church. I told Him that I would like to live a life of service.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo School today. It was the day of my first basketball game. I told Him that I was not as tall or as fast or as strong as the other players. He said not to worry because the best players are not always the tallest, fastest, or strongest. He said that if I tried my best and played fairly, in his eyes, I would be a good basketball player.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the Sunday Mass after I had played in a very tough football game that week. I told Him that early in the game an opponent hit me with a “cheap” shot. Afterward, I played the rest of the game with anger in my heart. I told him I was sorry I reacted that way and that I did not uphold the Catholic ideal of forgiveness. He told me not to worry. Unfortunately, anger is a human weakness and is very difficult to avoid. He told me that this may happen again many more times in my lifetime and each time it does, I should “dig deep” into my heart to forgive the other person.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the Sunday Mass after I won first place in our diocese academic decathlon. I thanked Him for giving me the ability to do so well and I wanted to give Him all the credit. He said that there was no need to thank Him and that I had won because of all the hard work and extra hours of studying. I could not help but think how gracious He is and how I would like to live my life to be more like Him.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Church today. It was the day of my Confirmation. I told him that I did not understand what was going to happen. He told me that through Confirmation, I would be more perfectly bound to the Church and I would be enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit. I would be a true witness of Christ and would be obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. He asked if I was ready to do this. I told Him I was, but I would need a lot of His help and guidance.
I met Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo School today. It was my graduation day. I told Him I was afraid of leaving the school that had become my second home for the last nine years. He told me not to be afraid because my adventure in life was just starting and that He would be with me every step of the way.
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