Blog/CYM Blog Arise and Shine (John 2:1-11) by Tricia Tembreull I still remember the moment when I knew one of my Core Members was being called to the priesthood. It was on a confirmation retreat, and he was giving the best talk I have heard on the Eucharist. The teens were so engaged, smiling, laughing, and taking in the truth and message he was proclaiming with passion. After adoration the teens went to their rooms and I asked him to stay. I looked him in the eyes and said, “So when are you going into seminary?” He grinned, looked down to the ground shyly, and then looked up at me and said, “I’ve been talking to the vocations director, and I’m going to enter in the fall.” Praise God! Today’s Gospel of the Wedding Feast at Cana has so much going on in it, but it is the moment when Mary acknowledges Jesus’ mission that always stirs my heart. I have had multiple people recognize the call that God speaks to my heart, and often, I try to silence the call out of feelings of inadequacy. I praise God for those people in my life who challenge me to be more than what I allow the world to see. They challenge me to be who God created me to be. There comes a time in ministry when we, as youth ministers, need to help individual Core Members recognize that their identity lies in more than how the world sees them. It lies in how God sees them and how God is seen in them. It is a youth minister’s responsibility to be a Marian example, and call Core Members out of their comfort zone and live out the mission God has placed on their lives. These are the moments when a Core Member needs to go beyond just leading a small group to someone who proclaims the teaching or their own witness at a retreat, Life night, or Edge night. Or when a Core Member needs to let go of a relationship, sin, or addiction in their life and you have to walk with them and support them. Each person in your church is gifted. So many are hiding their gifts in the midst of the busyness of life and the struggles of sin. We have all had Core Members who need to move on to another ministry that is calling on their hearts, or move from Edge to Life Teen, or possibly to another Young Adult or Adult ministry. Sometimes the people in our life need a push, and God is calling us to encourage them just like Mary urged Jesus. During this year of mercy, one of the most merciful acts we can do for our brothers and sisters in Christ is to help them reconcile with God so they can actually discern the spiritual gifts they have to share with the church and the world. Mercy demands a response in our actions. When we have been treated with love and mercy, we must do the same for others. When we have reconciled with God and can share our testimonies, admitting our faults and failures, others will be bold enough to find healing and share their testimony. When we seek out the lost and lead them into the Christ’s merciful arms and call them to share their gifts and talents, (Corinthians 12:4-12) they can help others receive God’s mercy. Mary in this moment of grace was guided by God to urge her son to action – to His mission. Let us call upon her intercession so that we might be open to being called into our mission more completely, and call our parish community into trusting God in the mission He has for their life.