“Behold I am with you always, even to the close of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

Jesus promised that He would never abandon His people; He promised that He would remain until the end of time. Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago, yet He is still present and active in the lives of His people. He is with them. However, recognizing God’s presence in our world today takes a ‘trained eye’ and an act of faith. Jesus can most readily be recognized through the witness of Christian people, people who acknowledge and testify to the power and presence of God in their lives. The ‘Encounter with Christ’ stories help to highlight how God is working in the lives of the people in the parish of St. Magdalen’s Church. These stories are meant to help those who read them to more easily recognize God’s presence in their own lives. God wants to be known by you and to work in your life—invite Him to do so.

Fullness of Joy in the Lord

05-22-2016Encountering ChristJennifer Prickel

"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). I have always loved teaching. There is something so special about sharing your passion with others through explanation and group discussion—and when it comes to teaching others, not about a subject, such as math or Spanish but the person of Jesus Christ, it becomes even more significant. I had the great privilege of co-teaching a group of 8th graders on Monday nights this past year and it was as if this verse from John's Gospel came to life. I was entrusted with a group of young people, desirous of being understood, listened to, and known. It is precisely in being aware of these basic human needs that a soul can be open to God's word. In each one of my students, I saw a soul on the journey to God and I wanted to do all I could to help them along the path. I sought to share my experience of Jesus's love in my life and the joy He brings as the fulfillment of all desire.

Our class was engaged in understanding the basic human questions, such as "What is the meaning of life?" and "Why am I here?". One particular class, we engaged the students in a discussion about why evil exists in the world if God is good? It became a sort-of running joke in our class that the answer to most questions is: human freedom. How did we get to this point? We listened and they felt heard, we shared about our journey to the Lord and sought to help them connect it to their own. At the end of the day all we can do is share our experience of Jesus' love in our lives and how this love changes how we live; this is how our joy may be full.

—Jennifer Prickel