Sustaining the Faith Journey

In Matthew 10:5, Jesus tells the disciples to go out and proclaim his message for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. He gives them the authority to drive out impure spirits and heal every disease and sickness with clear instructions of where to go and what to do.

Thus, we have the disciples armed with the necessary requirements to witness the presence of God on Earth. The question is how do modern believers engage in this process of continuing Christ’s mission?

 There our three essential factors that guide me in being a disciple of Jesus and sustain my faith journey. They are prayer, the scriptures and being and active member of the Eucharistic community. For me prayer is more than reciting a prayer or asking for God’s help. Don’t get me wrong, I still do both however, I get more from continuing to talk to God throughout the day any place and anytime. It assists me in reflecting on my relationships with others, making decisions on how I should tackle different issues and driving towards outcomes that are successful for others and myself. Most importantly prayer provides me with the hope and optimism I need to continue what I am doing.

 The next crucial factor is scripture. I read the Gospel and am inspired by the risks Jesus took to teach all people about who God was and how it is possible for all of us to experience eternal life. The message Jesus delivers for me is one about love and forgiveness. His teachings are inclusive and he invites us all to his Father’s heavenly banquet. However, to gain an invitation I am required to welcome all people and challenge them through my own personal witness, to live the Gospel values and to enable others to achieve their own personal goals.  Additionally, I need to demonstrate that I am living the Gospel through my own words and deeds otherwise my witness lacks credibility. Furthermore, it demands that like Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice, I to must put others before myself to ensure my relationships are positive and rewarding.

 The final factor, is to be nourished by a Eucharistic Community. A community where I can contribute to developing people’s faith and in turn together strive to continue Christ’s mission. I am great believer that I can achieve more when I play a role within a community. Nevertheless, it is vital that the Eucharistic Community creates sense of belonging and gives everyone the opportunity to express their faith generating engagement and building community. Moreover, this is only sustainable when everyone is appreciated and acknowledged and valued as a member of the Eucharistic Community.

Hopefully, I continue to cultivate prayer, scripture and being an active member of a Eucharistic Community that enable me to overcome my daily life challenges and inspire me to sustain my faith journey.

Seeking Clarity

On the day of Pentecost, “all of them were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. “Acts, 1: 4. Sometimes, we need a catalyst to prompt us into action and for the Apostles that gave them the courage and the gift of languages to boldly proclaim Christ’s mission. Pope Francis declares, the spirit frees hearts chained by fear and opens hearts that are closed. How often do I hold back from the challenges that arise daily in my relationships with others because I am uncertain of how people may react.? If the apostles held back because they felt they weren’t ready maybe 2000 years later we wouldn’t have known about Jesus. For me I wonder what other reasons suppress my desire to act freely in how I live my life?

So, the first obstacle I face is determining when to listen and when to speak. The lack of clarity that goes through my head leads me to be unsure of how I want to express myself in certain situations. However, Pope Francis,” impels us not to be comfortable but to drive to new directions making the lukewarm thrill to new dreams. That is what it means to change hearts.” (Crux taking the Catholic Pulse) In other words never die wondering about what is possible.

The second barrier is busyness. How often do I hide behind I have a lot on, to I just need to finish this off, that prevents me from taking the opportunities that may be available to me? Perhaps I am resistant to change and I like to be surrounded by circumstances that I at least I have some power in directing the outcome. I feel it is when I lose control of the situation and am reliant on other factors that doubt creeps in. Thus, my reluctance to make a decision results in me making no decision on all.

The final hurdle is having a decision thrust upon you.  In other words, having to make an assessment with no time to think it through. In these cases, I have to trust my own judgement hoping that the course of action I have taken achieves a positive outcome.  At least I see the results of my determination evolving in front of me.

Jesus has demonstrated that through his death and resurrection we don’t always have to benefit from the choices we make however, it is not inconceivable that other people might be the beneficiaries. So, when seeking clarity, possibly the answer is just make a decision no matter the cost.