“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.

Walking With Jesus

05-28-2017Encountering ChristRocco Colanturno

I would like to share with you how Jesus has transformed my life. As I look back at the past 50 years I can see how unhappy I was, living in bondage. The darkness caused me tremendous pain and suffering; my heart was aching and empty. I was yearning for so much more in my life.

In 2016, struggling with my divorce, I met a neighbor who I began to share my trials and tribulations with. He shared that he could relate to the pain of divorce and would be willing to accompany me on a new journey, one that would include Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He proceeded to pose the following questions: Have you surrendered your life to Jesus? Do you have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? After reflecting on these questions, I accepted his offer of help. I felt in my heart that God was using this man as an instrument to help me to find healing and peace.

The following day I received a text message from my neighbor asking me to meet him at 7:00am Mass. This went on for several months. I realized that attending Sunday Mass was not enough for me. I needed to receive the healing offered in the Eucharist as often as I could. It was through receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament that the chains of bondage began to break and my heart experienced deep healing.

As my journey continued, my friend and mentor encouraged me to make several different changes in my life including: daily Mass, reading the Bible, going to confession, attending Eucharistic Adoration, participating in service days with the Friars of the Renewal, and attending men’s retreats. He also strongly encouraged me to participate in 21-week ChristLife program offered by our parish. I began to implement all of these suggestions into my daily life. I could sense healing and transformation were taking place in my heart. Even fellow parishioners were commenting on the change they noticed in me. I began to share that I had ‘surrendered my life to Jesus’. I realized that Jesus was healing me and transforming me. After 50 years I have finally discovered the true meaning of a fruitful life: allowing Jesus to heal and to lead.