From the Editor - November 2020

“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks (Matthew 16:15). I’ve heard Christians speculate that when we go before the throne of God, this will be the question on which our eternal destiny hangs.

But there’s no need to speculate — Jesus has told us how we will be judged: I was hungry; did you feed me? I was thirsty; did you give me drink? I was a stranger; did you welcome me? I was naked; did you clothe me? I was ill; did you care for me? I was in prison; did you visit me?

Our concrete love for those in need, or lack thereof, marks us out for eternal life or eternal fire. Because, Jesus says, “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (25:31-46).

“Who do you say that I am?” For many of us, the right answer is obvious. We know the creed. But so do the demons. Knowing the right answers is not enough.

“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks us. Our real answer is in the way we live.

Northwest Catholic - November 2020

How to have Christ-centered friendships

Dear Kianna,
As a young adult, how can I invite God into my friendships and relationships?
– Committed

Dear Committed,
Inviting our Lord into the center of your friendships will bring new graces, beauty and unity to these relationships. When the Lord is at the forefront of your life and you are synced with the heart of Christ, the blessings that come will be as numerous as the stars.

Relationships are a central part of what it means to be human. Our Lord invites us to engage in discipleship by walking with and supporting one another. Our friends serve important roles in our earthly journeys, helping us to encounter the love of Christ more deeply.

When inviting God into your relationships, my first suggestion is to pray. Begin everything in prayer and call upon the name of the Lord. Start your prayer by calling upon the Trinity, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Pray specifically for your friendships and list your peers by name.

When you spend time with your friends, if you feel comfortable, try sharing your faith with one another. The most engaging and in-depth conversations I have had with my friends have been centered on God and our faith. Do not be afraid to speak, listen and seek to grow closer to our Lord with your peers. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your faith or verbally bringing God into your relationships just yet, ask Jesus for strength, wisdom and grace. Call upon the Holy Spirit whenever you feel afraid, and he will provide you with all the guidance you need.

If some of your friends do not practice the faith or even believe in God, this does not mean you cannot invite Jesus to be at the center of these relationships. Keep praying for your peers, whether they are believers or not, and love everyone with the heart of Christ. Through your love and friendship, you are modeling the person of Christ.

If Jesus is your best friend, then all your other relationships will build upon this. If Christ is at the center of your heart, then you will see how the graces that flow from this union will bless others in your life. It is difficult to explain what it feels like to be fully consumed by Christ and to totally offer yourself to him, but once you do, you will never want to turn back. If you have not yet taken a step toward our Lord, I encourage you to start today.

Above all, do not be afraid! You are not alone on this earthly pilgrimage, and I pray that you may encounter the transformational love and peace of Christ. “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

God bless!

Northwest Catholic - November 2020

Todo es un regalo

“Recibimos la vida no para enterrarla, sino para ponerla en práctica; no para conservarla, sino para darla. Quien está con Jesús sabe que el secreto de poseer vida está en darla”.

Everything is a gift

"We received life not to bury it, but to put it into play; not to keep it, but to give it. Whoever is with Jesus knows that the secret to possessing life is to give it.”

Ante la cruz de los demás

Jesús ha sido brutalmente flagelado. De milagro sobrevivió los inclementes azotes. Avanza rumbo al Gólgota con un dolor extremo, condenado a morir en el madero de la cruz, del cual carga el travesaño sobre hombros. La distancia hasta el Gólgota es corta, pero cada paso parece el último. Jesús apenas puede.

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