It is joy that we seek — the joy only Jesus can provide

Do whatever He tells you
Rick Cheek is the associate consultant for the office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.

by Rick Cheek

What is it that brings you joy?

That was the theme of the meeting of St. Francis Xavier’s youth group in Lansing a couple weeks ago when I stopped in for a visit. Some of the responses were typical — family, friends, grandparents, my dog.

However, there was one young man who did not give a typical response. He talked about St. Padre Pio. He loved that St. Padre Pio spent many hours in the confessional in order to bring joy to those who were seeking forgiveness. What a great example of joy!

When you look at the lives of the saints, many of them exercised great sacrifice for love of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

They understood, as they endured hardship or suffering on earth, there was a greater joy waiting for them in heaven.

As we approach the month of November with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, this would be a perfect opportunity to spend time with your family talking about the lives of the saints. They are great examples of how to live out our faith when faced with the uncertainty our world offers.

St. John Paul II told the young people of the world: “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you.”

I ask for your prayers Nov. 15 – 19 on behalf of 464 young people and chaperones of our archdiocese as we journey to Indianapolis for the biennial National Catholic Youth Conference.

This year’s theme, “Called,” will provide an opportunity for over 23,000 young men and women from all over the United States to encounter Jesus through the liturgy, reconciliation, music, keynotes and workshops.

Speakers engage our young people with great examples of how to work through the many struggles of their everyday lives. I ask you to join us virtually and pray for us to be open to what the Holy Spirit has waiting for us there.

It is Jesus that we seek and it is the joy that only he can provide.

You can look for us as NCYC live streams the liturgy and keynotes online at: www.ncyc.info.

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