by Rick Cheek
In the past few months, I’ve prayed with and for young people, friends and family members struggling with some form of serious illness.
I asked one mom, “How are you doing?” She replied, “You’ve got to have faith, right?”
Just have faith. How many times have we heard that? Or said it to someone in our circle of influence?
I was reminded of how important having faith truly is on Feb. 4 at daily Mass. The Gospel reading (Mk 5:21-43) recounts the healing of both the woman with a hemorrhage and the daughter of Jairus, a synagogue official.
In both accounts, Jesus reveals the role of faith. To the woman with the hemorrhage, he said: “Daughter, your faith has saved you.” To Jairus, when he is told his daughter has died, Jesus said: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
Many times, when faced with difficulties or failure, we tend to do one of two things. We call someone close to us to vent or seek advice. Or, we go to Our Lord in prayer and seek his aid.
While the first is good, the second option should always be our first choice before, during and after anything we are planning or facing in our lives. In a life of faith, God should be that friend we call first to vent, seek advice and request help.
I love what St. John XXIII said about dealing with fear: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
What is still possible for each of us is building a relationship with Christ so he is that close friend we turn to before anyone else.
This year’s junior high rally is Feb. 23 and offers the perfect opportunity for your middle schooler to further develop his or her relationship with Jesus.
Our theme, “Holey- Wholly-Holy,” helps young people understand how God takes us in our sinfulness and, through reconciliation, repairs the holes we’ve torn in our faith, helping us arrive at holiness. I encourage you to have your young teenager attend.
In the end, it is faith that saves us and provides hope to erase our fears.
Let us build this faith in our young people, so that they may face their futures with the courage that is found only in Christ.