The different dynamics of this trip, between physically doing something in the world to benefit others, as well as encountering God, is a holistic feeling of what the Christian life should be like to the kids in our community. The Christian life and the love of Christ should always call us out of ourselves to share the goodness of the Gospel with others. Sharing the gospel doesn’t have to be building a house for those in need, but it’s an obvious sign of giving something that grows hope in the world.
Many of the retreats that we offer throughout the year give all students the opportunity to truly encounter the living God. In those encounters I have seen many students come alive and seem personally transformed because of the love of their Heavenly Father. But the obvious next step is taking that love that you have received and giving it to others that need it.
The Catechism states: Jesus makes charity the new commandment. By loving his own "to the end," He makes manifest the Father's love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love." And again: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
Being able to love the people in our world in the way that Jesus did takes a lot of grace, but it is why He came to earth. Not only to reveal himself, but also to point us towards our mission, which is to reveal His love to the world. All of our retreats are essential to having kids know and fall in love with Jesus, but trips like these spring break service trips are also essential in giving our students the ability to step up and into the mission of the Church.
So during the next week, please keep all of us in your prayers for a positive experience and safe travels. I am absolutely grateful for the support and prayers we receive at the parish for these sorts of events. I see this as where the Lord is leading our Youth Ministry Program in MHT. That not only through our retreats can we bring God into the lives of our young people, but that we as a parish can facilitate their growth in those encounters and have them transformed and on mission. Without your prayers and support that growth and transformation wouldn’t happen! I’ll be posting pictures and updates on Facebook, so please join in with us on our mission this week!