Authentically You

in Easter

An Easter Vigil Reflection

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Storytelling is an art, helping us understand ourselves and each other.

The Easter Vigil, the culmination of the Triduum, is the ultimate in Storytelling. At the Easter Vigil, we hear nine Stories with important words in each that lead us from darkness to our Risen Christ.

The First Story thrillingly describes Creation:

            When God created the heavens and the earth,

           The earth was a formless void

            And darkness covered the face of the deep

            While the Spirit of God swept over the face of the waters,

           Then God said, “Let there be light”

How often have we felt that darkness has covered us, and we’re living in a formless void.  God, the great Creator knew then and knows now how tremendously powerful God’s Light is.

Our second Story offers Abraham as a model to us when he says, Here I am. How important for each of us to say to God we are here, ready to do God’s will.

Moses is the hero of the third Story, leading God’s people to believe in the Lord as they were saved. Let us believe.

The fourth and fifth Story read like poetry as God tells us My love will never leave you and Listen, so that you may live.  Comforting words, knowing God is right beside us, right inside us.

The sixth Story offers these words: where there is wisdom… there is light and peace. Look for the light.

The seventh Story offers these gifts: A new heart I will give you and a new Spirit I will put within you. Receive these gifts.

Our eighth Story urges us:

Know that Christ, being raised from the dead,

Will never die again…..So you must consider yourself dead to sin, once for all, And alive to God in Christ Jesus.    

Our Lenten Journey leads us here, to this new life in Christ.

The final Story is the Gospel of Mark, and we learn along with the women who went to the tomb that Jesus has been raised. Alleluia!!

Nine powerful Stories. I encourage you to read these Stories, find what words bring you Light and then, live like you truly have the Risen Christ in you and spread your Light to the world.

Youth Revival (Part III)

Pope Francis delivered the following words about our Lord and the special relationship He has with us: “He is our hope, and in a wonderful way, he brings youth[fulness] to our world, and everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life... He is in you, he is with you, and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again... He will always be there to restore your strength and your hope” (CV 1-2).

Seek out opportunities to get involved, create the community you deeply desire. Pray boldly for the desires of your heart. The Lord can and will answer those desires. Embrace the mystery. Choose to pursue sainthood. And finally, trust and know that you are cared for and loved by a Father who sent His only Son to become poor so that we may one day be rich in Heaven. In a world that has consistently turned away from holiness, let us young people follow in the footsteps of JPII and remember his words: “Do not be afraid to be holy.”

in Hope

Youth Revival (Part II)

We as young people have a unique opportunity to revive and carry on the Catholic Church. The Catholic faith is something a lot of us take for granted, I know I did for a period in my life. The richness of tradition and history seemed “boring” to me in my high school years, but after being surrounded by a great Catholic community in college, the fire for my Catholic faith was rekindled. My love for Jesus grew 10-fold after experiencing Eucharistic adoration more often and being held accountable by my closest friends who were all striving for sainthood. We as young people are in a unique spot in that we have grown up with so much technology and new social norms. The world around us seems to become more and more lazy, falling away from the great identity we have as sons and daughters of God the Father. But there is hope and good news. A shift is happening among young people desiring to turn back to traditional roots.

A revival of the youth in the Catholic Church cannot happen with just one person, although it certainly can stem from one person. It takes a community and group of willing young adults to walk hand in hand with each other towards the greatness the Lord has for us. We must be a reminder and living examples to those older and younger that the Church is not dead. The Church is very much alive because we have a Savior who lives and fills us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every generation has its struggles and setbacks. Let's be a generation of overcoming and renouncing the hold Satan has on those within our world. We know that Love wins because the Lord is Love. He has conquered death. We must remind ourselves and our friends of these truths every day.