A New Year of Missions (or: God’s Abundant Mercy)

On September 13th I met my new family.  We’re a beautiful people, really.

Life Teen Missionaries 2010

We spent a month together at Covecrest in the lovely Tiger, Ga before being sent out to our 3 mission bases (Covecrest, Atlanta, and Europe).  One story of the Lord’s movements from this time continues to blow my mind.

The returning missionaries had an opportunity to lead two retreats for a couple of 8th grade classes from the Atlanta area.  The last night of the retreats focused on the Lord’s loving mercy.  During the session I had the opportunity to share a witness on the topic before heading into a time of Eucharistic Adoration with the Sacrament of Reconciliation available.  Afterwards, we had planned a celebratory bonfire complete with smores, Journey covers, and corny jokes.

We had planned about 45 minutes for the time before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but the Lord had much more to do than our schedule could contain.  Both retreats, 45 minutes turned in to almost 2 hours.  Even with announcing the option to leave for the bonfire, we witnessed so many of these young people remain in line for Reconciliation.  Some who had already received the Sacrament just stayed for another hour to kneel and pray before the Eucharist.

This is a generation rising in faith!  How beautiful to watch these young people choose the sacraments and prayer over the joys of a bonfire!

The Lord’s movements these nights were not just in the hearts of the young people either.  We witnessed two fathers wait until all of the 8th graders had been to Reconciliaion before heading in themselves.  As they returned to the room they laid on the floor, face-to-the-ground in prayer.  In talking with them afterwards, they shared they had not been to confession in over 20 years!

These are father’s receptive of the Lord’s loving mercy!  Fathers who can reflect that same love to their children!  Praise God!

The Lord longs to shower His mercy upon us!  St. John Vianney once said that the Lord desires to forgive a repentant sinner more than a mother desires to save her child from a burning building.

Reflect on that image.  See the mother’s face as her child remains inside.  The anguish and distress on her face.  How much more does the Lord wish to rescue us!  Let Him!  Come to Him and rejoice, for there is more than enough grace!

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