Did you have an opportunity to read the “Looking Ahead” reflection from our first Pastoral Council meeting? If you haven’t you can find the link below. But first go ahead and read this anyways.
Part of the significance for reading this reflection is to identify with Peter, James and John the beginning of their journey with Jesus. At the beginning of their journey Jesus immediately shows them ‘why’ he has invited them to follow Him. He begins to reveal ‘The Kingdom of God’ through His ‘words and deeds’ not only with the mother-in-law but also the townspeople. The invitation Jesus gave to them to ‘follow him’ begins to have an immediate effect on the disciples. How might this scripture passage relate to your own journey with Jesus? How does Jesus’ ‘words and deeds’ have an effect on your life?
This passage helps me reflect on a few things. The first is how Jesus has transformed my life. Just as he has healed Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus has brought much healing and strength in my own life to overcome some of my brokenness and suffering. Secondly how my passion to pursue a personal relationship with Him has grown. I have not always had a passion to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. That began back in 2010. I was certainly a strong ‘practicing’ Catholic, but not until 2008 did I begin to awaken to the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Someone invited me to consider what it means to have a personal relationship with Him. My passion now to help other Catholics comes from the fact that this was never stressed through all the parish activities and formation I had experienced. But then someone invited me to consider what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as a Catholic. To not just be a ‘practicing Catholic’ but a Catholic who can speak to the mission of Jesus Christ and the Church. This personal relationship with Jesus has made a significant difference for me as a Catholic. Now I have a new kind of excitement to be Catholic. I love to share my faith with others by witnessing how my relationship with Jesus Christ has transformed my life as a Catholic.
In 2008 I was challenged by a friend to think about how I perceive myself as a Catholic. I was asked this question:
“Are you a person who is a practicing Catholic because this is what you have been all your life? Or are you a Catholic who practices his faith because he understands at a personal level who Jesus Christ is for your life and the mission of the Church?”
It took me a while to fully understand the differences but when I did it made the sacraments and rituals of the Catholic Church so much more meaningful. I went from an ordinary practicing Catholic who loved to be involved with his parish to a Disciple of Jesus Christ who loved to be on mission with the Catholic Church. In my heart this is two very distinct differences.
I am still on this journey. My pursuit of Jesus helps me to grow deeper in my relationship with Him and understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. This pursuit shows me how Jesus’ words and deeds continues to transform my heart and strengthens my desire to be on mission with Him to spread ‘The Kingdom of God’. So I encourage you to take some time and reflect on the question I was asked. And then think about the importance of answering His invitation to follow Him so you too can grow in a deeper experience of His ‘words and deeds’ and the meaning of mission.
I look forward to hearing some of your own personal reflections!
Here is the link to the document for you to print it out if you haven’t read it yet….Looking Ahead
Your friend in Christ,