As summer comes to a close, I am excited for the 2nd Encounter Dayton on September 10 and Encounter Cincinnati on September 24. Both of those are going to be great events. We are going to be able to lift up praise to our God with our voices, return to His merciful embrace through Reconciliation, and stand face-to-face with Him in Adoration. Now all of these things are available to us all the time. Seriously, check Masstimes.org. But I get it why they can all seem just a little more amped at Encounter.
A part of this reality might tie into the fantastic word that we get to hear. The speakers have always peeled back the layers of distractions at every Encounter I’ve gone to. This clarity helps me run, not walk to Reconciliation. It reminds me to pray our praise songs. It releases me to embrace the mystery of the Eucharist. But not without a struggle.
See, whether it is Steubenville, Encounter, or a homily, I have a battle to fight inside. Maybe you can relate to this. The second I feel challenged or convicted by a message I cease to be the audience. Do you know what I mean? Instead of letting the words sink in, you spiritually deflect them, like Obi-wan with his lightsaber. “This talk is great! So & so needs to hear this.” Have you ever done that?
Don’t get me wrong, we can share pearls of wisdom with others, but if we don’t let that wisdom impact us as well then it wasn’t sharing at all. It was more like pelting them with pearls of wisdom. And we can’t do that!
We cannot do that because:
- It can often come from a place of judgement.
- We need to be challenged. Jesus wants to be our best friend, and you know what my best friends do? They tell me when I’m not acting like myself. Is there anyone who knows the true you better than Jesus? We need to let Him call us out.
- If we train ourselves to deflect when God is trying to challenge us because it makes us squirrely and squirmy, we will do it again. Only this time we might redirect when we hear the Lord say,
- “I love you.”
- “I am proud of you.”
- “You are my beloved Child with whom I am well pleased.”
When you are at Encounter or listening to your priest’s homily, let the tough word sink in. For if we can admit that our Father’s word of correction is truly for us, we can allow our hearts to truly hear His love for us.
Photo Credit: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_III/Legend