At the parish retreat, we all received bracelets bearing the Cross of Jerusalem. I made it a goal of mine to wear it everyday until the next retreat as a way for me to always be mindful to be a disciple and to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open for encounters with Christ. It was a good way for me to remember that being a disciple is a choice - to either wear it or set it aside. I found it to be a positive challenge to me to continue to choose to be a disciple whenever I felt the urge to take it off. Another positive aspect was that it allowed me to wear my faith on my “sleeve” if you will, as people would see the bracelet peek out of my shirt sleeve or in plain sight next to my watch as I run, and opened a conversation between us about faith.
As I was helping a woman load a heavy A/C unit into her shopping cart at a Walmart recently, the thread holding the medallion of the Cross of Jerusalem broke. Instead of being upset, the situation made me think of how Christ sacrificed himself to help us. Christ broke himself to make our broken selves whole, and he continually breaks himself in the Eucharist for us. My bracelet could have broke off at any other time in any other circumstance, but I’m glad it was with helping someone whose name I may never know, and it's my hope they will offer an act of kindness to another.
For now the medallion rests on the item I most have on me: my keys. While not literally on me, it'll remain to serve as a reminder to me to continually be a follower of Christ.
The other day I received a phone call from a brother in Christ and former college teammate who serves in youth ministry on the other side of the country. We talked for 30min or so about our respective lives, and just before we said goodbye and hung-up, he said, "You know, we're still on the same team." What a wonderful reminder - and encounter with Christ- that no matter where we live, no matter our vocation and calling in life, that as disciples of Jesus we are all teammates - helping to build the God's Kingdom of love, compassion, and mercy together on God's team.
When I take the Eucharist, I feel so close to Jesus. Taking the Eucharist can help me be a follower of Christ because it reminds me that Jesus loves me. That Jesus is in me. If He is in me, then I should be like Him to others. - age 10
I heard praise rightly given to fellow parishioners. As the day progressed, I could not deny the poor mood I was in. I was feeling unappreciated and worse yet, out-right jealous. I'm sure the world revolves around me.
Why wasn't I receiving kudos?
When truth set in I could recognize what a vain response this had been.
Was this me I had encountered?
I deserved the very distasteful glimpse of myself!