Thursday, August 26, 2010

...And I Will Live My Life For You

Any youth minister knows from which song the words for this post's subject originate ;) It's one of the songs YMs can come to love to hate. The kids love it, so we sing it with them. Alot. (The song is: You Are Holy (Prince of Peace), FYI ;)

I myself have sung that song probably hundreds of times between NET and my 3+ years of youth ministry experience at the parish, Workcamps, etc. But I have honestly never sung it the way I got to today.

First of all, I should say these weeks have been a whirlwind, hence my lack of blogging. I ended my time of employment with my previous employer last week, had two days off and a weekend, and Monday started my training at my new high school as a teacher! The days have been FULL of learning to grade, lesson plan, and the ropes of being a teacher at this particular school.

While I am a bit overwhelmed, nothing can cloud the joy and relief I ultimately feel from God keeping His promise- His covenant- to me. I am actually really excited to teach Scripture and Sacraments to these teens because of my experience with God keeping this covenant. Had I not struggled the past couple of years, I might not have been inspired to go to grad school and then been inspired to get back into ministry. I also feel like I will have a whole new perspective when teaching the basics of God's covenant in Scripture because of my struggles and His new gifts.

But back to the infamous praise and worship tune. The kids are not back to school yet, so it wasn't with the teens that we sang the song. It was actually at a funeral Mass. I am also kind of overwhelmed at the number of friends' parents I have had pass away in recent years. Today's Mass was for the father of a friend. Most my friends' parents have had cancer related deaths. I just don't understand that disease. I hope we find out more about its prevention and cure soon.

My friend is a youth minister herself and her siblings and parents were all students/supporters of Catholic schools in the Diocese. The church was full of priests, ministers, and faithful lay folks. As we celebrated my friend's dad, I also feel like we celebrated the faithful community we are in. I know I was personally so moved and grateful to see people I love and I know love me who are also some of the holiest people I know (they'd have to be to put up with me ;) jk!

It was my friend's father's request to close the Mass with the praise and worship song mentioned above. He wanted somethig all of the kids his wife and children ministered to could sing along with. I have never prayed that song so seriously in my life. The women's part in the chorus lists:

You Are Lord of Lords, You are King of Kings. You are Mighty God. Lord of Everything...

and goes on to list more powerful titles of God. I really was grateful in that moment and in awe of God. He is truly the Lord of Everything, whether we acknowledge it or not in our lives at various times.

Tonight, my women's group met and though I have been taking crash courses in lesson planning and freaking out all week about planning....I somehow volunteered to plan our 'lesson' or reflection for the evening too. I took to asking my roommates for some help on the topic. Many of us have had major, positive changes in our lives recently: babies, new jobs, relationship developments, etc. There have been many times we all meet to co-miserate, but we really felt called to come together tonight and rejoice.

I thought about the examples in the Bible of change coming into people's lives and their reactions to the change: Abraham being told about Isaac and his role as the father of numerous descendents, the apostles witnessing the death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ but then left to spread the Gospel with the help of the Holy Spirit...examples of great joys, great change- with great responsibility.

And I thought of Mary's change of being chosen to be the Mother of Christ and how she questioned, but then proclaimed God's glory with her whole being in her fiat (her 'yes') and her Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55). So we prayed Mary's Magnificat together and shared our stories of gratitude for the changes God is doing in our lives.

We know that with this change comes great responsibility. Mary was soon told her heart would be pierced with a sword at the Presentation...the positive does not always last. Consolation prepares us for desolation so that we have something to hold onto. But today I am truly relishing in the gratitude and greatness of God, and I was so blessed to have done it with many holy friends.

They say a change could do you good....I would say Amen to that! God has changed my life time and time again- welcome and unwelcome at times. But we still choose to live our lives for Him, no matter the change.

Thanks, ladies, for a beautiful reflection tonight! Grateful for many things.

"My soul rejoices..."


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