“Behold I am with you always, even to the close of the age.”
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.
My "Come to Jesus" moment began when I fell behind in completing stewardship hours for Confirmation. By January of my 7th grade year I had failed to complete any of my stewardship hours, with no prospects going forward. To remedy this, Sr. Lorraine offered to waive any stewardship hour deficiencies if a student attended the Pro-life March in Washington D.C. My parents were unable to accompany me, but gave instructions to "follow the nun" wherever she went. I did. As I entered into 8th grade Sr. Lorraine informed me that in order to complete my stewardship hours that year, I was going to assist her in teaching a 2nd grade class. This was a real challenge and gift for me because I didn't know anything about my faith until I had to teach it.
Seeing the 2nd graders so engaged and excited about their faith made me want to get Confirmed and practice my faith. I began to see my stewardship as more than just completing a checklist in order to be confirmed or even to get married in the Church. There was something there, something real. I went from teaching one second grade class to teaching three classes the next year, and several since then. I taught 8th Encountering Christ grade CCD this year and it has been through my students that God has truly revealed Himself to me.
Teaching CCD has not only helped me to learn about my faith but has also enabled me to practice what I preach. It reminds me of one of my favorite Scripture passages, which we read every year on Ash Wednesday— "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father" (Matthew 6:1). Teaching CCD is like a check and balance. It forces me to live and pray and be consistent with all the ways I am asking my students to be consistent. For this I am grateful.BACK TO LIST