By: Kathleen Yacharn
I went to Risk Jesus this past weekend with about 1,200 others, give or take a few. It was an awesome, vibrant event and inspirational to see so many young men and women, mothers, fathers, religious and families unite to celebrate the joy of our faith. After the sessions, there was a Q&A session with Bishop Loverde, Jennifer Fulwiler, and Rev. Longenecker answering questions of faith submitted through our Twitter handle @arlingtonchurch.
The questions ranged from how to deepen your prayer life, to how we can be witnesses in our daily lives, to how we can learn to be open and communicate Our faith better. One question that really touched my heart and made me reflect was one I’ve had over the years. For those of us blessed to be “cradle Catholics,” who have not had a dramatic or difficult or miraculous journey: How can we evangelize without an exciting story to tell?
The answer comes straight from the Gospel, when St. Thomas put his hand into Christ’s wounds and says, “My Lord and My God.” Jesus turned to him, and said:
“‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and believed’” (John 20:29).
This is not the only time that Jesus reminds us that there is no greatness or smallness in faith. Rather, for those of us who haven’t heard God’s voice or had an obvious miracle happen in our lives, Jesus even tells us that our faith matters all the more because God calls us to simple obedience and child-like trust in Him:
“‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’” (Matthew 19:14).
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a conversion story like St. Paul. Remember, even the littlest and simplest of people change the world. Although she did experience a beautiful apparition, lived a simple and humble life, St. Therese was convinced that those ordinary people with no special story to tell mattered just as much as the mystics and great martyrs. Her conviction that you could make a difference even in doing the smallest acts done with great love led her to be named a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
“‘God’s love is revealed just as much in the most simple soul who does not resist His graces as in the most sublime.’” – St. Therese of Lisieux
There are non-canonized saints who died without a record of their heroic virtue. We honor these saints for their unrecognized faithfulness on All Saints’ Day. We should never let the idea of greatness make us feel small. Another Teresa, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” There is nothing too ordinary, simple, or little for God to make great or work wonders in.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Diocesan website and our Facebook and Twitter. We will be uploading the videos from our Risk Jesus sessions featuring Jennifer Fulwiler, Rev. Dwight Longenecker, Bishop Loverde, and Fr. Juan Puigbó in coming days.