Running the Race
It has been such an incredible life changing, transformational 3 months. Before learning how to share Christ with others we were given the opportunity to experience His love for us in a way that impels us to want for nothing else but to share His Love with others. The very thought of even one moment without Our Lord with us or in us brings about a sorrow that is unfathomable.
During our 3 months of formation we studied the Acts of the Apostles and St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Mission of the Redeemer” where we explored what it means to be a follower of Christ and the duties of the Church as the members of the Body of Christ. Nowhere else will one find a clearer call to the mission of the Church as a whole. We also spent time exploring what mission life is like while living in community with 4 other families, 12 single people and long-term missionary staff and their families, about 60 people in all. At times, this life was very challenging but the rewards of dying to self for the sake of becoming more “Christ-like” was all worth it. Our growth in the last 3 months has been profound and our only regret is that we did not surrender our lives to Christ sooner. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Be steadfast and persevering, my beloved brothers, fully engaged in the work of the Lord. You know that your toil is not in vain when it is done in the Lord.”
God’s graces are not only present and visible in today’s world but they are being poured out in an extraordinary way in those who seek Him in all they do. It is ever present in the saints of our times like St. John Paul II, Bl. Theresa of Calcutta, St. Padre Pio and the multitude of others who are unnamed by the church but work tirelessly sometimes to the point of death for the sake of bringing the Gospel to others.
We have been in awe for the last 3 months at the awareness that we were living among “Saints in the Making” and humbled at the thought that we are given the gift of working next to them and able to watch Holiness unfold as we encounter Christ in those we serve. It pains us to think that this is considered an extraordinary life when, as Christians we are all called to holiness and it is just us that stands in the way of making holiness an ordinary daily choice. I wish all Catholic Dioceses would have a missionary formation program so the extraordinary would become ordinary. Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore , since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us; while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.