I SHALL HELP YOU
MEMORIAL OF SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA
The feast of St. Kateri brings me back to my first summer as a full-time youth minister. I had been a youth minister for all of five minutes when I decided to gather up our teens in three rented Suburbans and head to Steubenville Atlanta. We made a couple stops along the way at EWTN, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, and finished the trip up with a Braves game. I can't believe that it was seven years ago.
That trip: the Shrine, the inspirational music and talks at the conference, and the Holy relationships that formed between those teens set the small church of St. Theodore's on fire. The teens came back on fire, and it spread quicker than COVID. They formed a praise and worship band; they volunteered; they shared the word of Christ with such passion that people stopped to listen and were converted. They converted their peers and, in some cases, their own families. There were mighty deeds done in our midst, and people responded with belief.
Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm. (Isaiah 7:9)
In today's Gospel, the Lord rebukes the towns that have seen His mighty deeds and did not repent. We do not need to fear or turn away from the loving arms of Christ if He is harsh with us in our pride or unbelief. Sometimes our faith can falter; in those moments, we can look back and see the Lord working in our lives and the lives of others. When our faith falters, the Lord sends us friends to help us through the struggles of life, to help us stand firm in our faith. That is what we do for each other, brothers and sisters; we help one another get to heaven.
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