Go out and serve as He serves.
Form His disciples.
Of these three pillars of our St. Ann mission, “Follow Jesus” keeps resounding in my soul and I want to leave you with those words. It has not always been easy for me to remember how simple Christianity really is. There are so many teachings and with the growing complexities of the world, these teachings are constantly called into question. As a priest, I am particularly called to explain these teachings and how they really do bring the greatest happiness for mankind and lead us into the life and love of God. But sometimes it is easy to think of Christianity as simply the following of this set of ‘teachings.’ The most important thing that God has taught me over these last two years is that I must follow a person, Jesus Christ. He is the motivation for everything that I do. Even when I have not followed Him with all of my heart, He constantly loves me and pursues me. He is the meaning behind every teaching of the Church. And, to please Him brings the greatest joy the world will ever know. That was the experience of the first disciples. How else could they leave everything to follow Him?
There is no greater clarity to the purpose of life than to be known and loved by Jesus Christ and to seek to know and love Him in return. This is what caught the heart of Peter, James and John, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and so many others. They encountered a person who made present, to them, the face of God. It is not until that desire for Jesus burns in our heart that we can come to love the Church and her teachings. It is not until we experience Jesus, personally, through the sacraments, that Catholic practice will ever make sense.
So if I can leave you with one last thought, it is – Follow Jesus. Pursue Him with all of your heart. There you will find the beauty of the Catholic Church and realize that her purpose is to lead us into an encounter with Jesus, and through Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Please pray for me, that I will love Him with all of my heart. Peace to you and know you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
In Christ through Mary,