Strive. For He Who is to Come

As a Discipleship team working in a parish, one of our primary sources of ministry happens every Thursday night from 6:30-8:30 pm. These “Youth Nights,” as they are called, are open to young people in grades 7-12. They provide a space for youth to open up, hang out and get to know each other and to encounter Jesus Christ in a personal way. 

Right from training, we knew that we wanted to take advantage of these Youth Nights and make them true opportunities to form relationships with the youth of Calgary. By looking at what these youth needed and figuring out what they were actively seeking, we came up with an overall theme for the Youth Nights that we could adapt and expand on each week. Using St. Paul as our example and studying his letters in the New Testament for inspiration, we knew that our goal as a NET Team this year was to create co-missionaries and to leave behind leaders that could continue our mission once we are gone. From there we moved to implement “STRIVE” as our theme, and to have each week move from “STRIVE” to “Strive to be Co-Missionaries.” This week, our focus is to “Strive For He Who Is To Come”, as a way to kick-off our Advent season. 

Advent has long been about patiently waiting and preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, at Christmas. The word Advent itself means “to come”. But I also want to talk about how Advent can serve as an opportunity to grow in our Catholic, universal call to be missionaries. As we move through Advent in the next four weeks and light the candles on our wreaths, we reflect on hope, peace, joy and faith. 

If there’s anything that being on NET has taught me, it’s that hope, peace, joy, and faith are all important marks of a missionary soul. By nurturing and practicing these virtues, we can strive in our missionary callings and in turn, lead those around us to Christ. The candles we light every week on our Advent wreaths are there as reminders and symbols of these virtues of hope, peace, joy and faith. As we light our candles in the upcoming weeks, let us all pray for an increase in these virtues, that we may use them to strengthen our missionary callings and follow in Jesus’ example after His birth at Christmas. We pray for hope, that we may never lose sight of our futures in heaven with Him. We pray for peace; for peace in this world and peace in our hearts. We pray for joy, that we may live out our missionary callings and strive to be living examples of joy that will draw others ever closer to God. And we pray for faith; for the faith that we have in Jesus and for the faith that we are chosen sons and daughters of the living God. We pray, and strive, for these virtues so that we can then strive for He who is to come.

Maria Altamirano, Team 7