by Rick Cheek
John was standing with two of his disciples and, as he watched Jesus walk by, said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
That passage from the Gospel of John was read on the feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Jan. 4. St. Elizabeth was the first native-born American to be canonized a saint. She also established the first Catholic school in Baltimore in 1808.
In his homily that day, Msgr. Charles McGlinn talked about how we as Catholics need to be more inviting to those who have fallen away from their faith, especially in our own families.
We are always going to have conflicts when it comes to being committed to raising our children in the faith. Providing “come and you will see” moments gets us to our end goal, which is heaven.
Despite the many struggles and suffering St. Elizabeth’s family went through due to her husband’s long illness, after he died, it was her desire to provide for children an encounter with Jesus in the Catholic faith that led her to become a saint. St. Elizabeth did it; “we can too.”
Last November on a Teens Encounter Christ weekend, I was having a conversation with a couple of candidates about how they ended up on the weekend.
Both of them told me that their mom woke them up for school on Friday morning and told them to pack enough clothes for three days. Not knowing what to expect, Brenda and Patricia had an amazing “come and you will see” experience, all because Mom and/or Dad wanted their daughter to have an encounter with Jesus.
As we continue this new year, there are many opportunities for “come and you will see” moments for your children here in the archdiocese and in your parishes.
With Camp Tekakwitha in the summer, Teens Encounters Christ being offered three times a year, Junior High Rally in February and the National Catholic Youth Conference in November, pray about where you can plug your son or daughter in to help them grow in their faith and love for Jesus Christ.