A friend of ours recently separated from his wife, and she left him with the care of their three children, the youngest merely a baby. The mother is no longer a part of their lives, and we were very heartbroken to hear of this. The last time we visited with him, however, the children were surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of the family who are now sharing the responsibilities of raising the children with this single father. We saw how these children may have lost a mother, but God provided several new "mothers" in her place to love them like their own.
My encounter with Christ was experiencing the love of the Spanish community in our Parish. We are so blessed to have such love among us.
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.
The Canticle of Spencer
See the vastness of the Lord's strength & mercy,
To show such goodness to one like me.
His wisdom is far above, and I far below.
Yet, upon me, a great grace does He bestow.
He calls upon me to be like He is:
To love as He loves and give as He gives;
To forgive, to follow, and to father;
To lead my family further and further.
He calls me to do things that are impossible,
Yet, in His unfailing justice He makes them possible.
You equip us for the work of our call,
Oh Lord, always providing for us all.
You are faithful and in You we can trust,
For to all you are generous, loving, merciful, and just.
I marvel in His victory
I stand in awe of His mercy,
but above all I am speechless
that He wants me as His witness.
He is the Prince of Peace, our one Mediator
Yet he wishes me to be His ambassador.
He redeems us and saves us from sin, but that is not all.
He commissions us, sends us, and saves us for His great purpose, His call.
I praise that He brings us together as one,
In a unity that none thought could be done.
But, Lord, when we still feel alone, abandoned, and at a loss,
remind us that we can find you waiting for us on the Cross.
You breathed in me and gave me life.
You placed Your Spirit as a holy flame burning deep within me.
You whispered Your love for me
But my belief of unworthiness deafened my ears.
You showed me love through the beauty of the world around me,
But my vision was darkened by doubts and fears.
You came into the world as one of us.
LOVE BECAME INCARNATE!
You healed my blindness and deafness
Revealing the fire within me- Your Spirit of love
With eyes wide open, this fire- Your love- becomes visible in all people- in all creation.
You fuel the flames with Your grace through prayer, Word, and Sacrament.
You send me forth
So I can be like you…..
My Magnificat of Thanksgiving
I thank you from the depths of my heart for revealing your amazing love to me through the people and events in my life and through Scripture, for giving me a purpose, for showing me the path to walk, for protecting me from the dangers of the world, for bringing me family and friends to help me grow closer to you, and for always providing for all of my needs.
Thank you for using me on Your team despite my imperfections, my insecurities, my weaknesses, my sinfulness.
I have watched you transform lives and provide healing from illness, addictions, broken relationships, lack of faith, and loneliness. I have seen you provide for families who live deep in poverty because they seek you first and have a community of brothers and sisters in Christ who care for them. Thank you for lovingly pursuing all of us, your precious children, and rescuing us from lives of insignificance and brokenness.
Please help me proclaim your greatness to the world by being a vessel of your love, kindness, mercy, generosity, and grace. May I also, like Mary, be Your handmaid.
I encounter Christ everyday in the complete actions of strangers and also in my friends and family with their unconditional love and support. - age 28