Here are the things that have consumed my heart and mind in the last week: shop; finish talk outlines; do last minute prep for our Life Teen Winter Retreat with 30 teens and 10 leaders; organize our Life Teen Pancake Dinner that feeds about 50-60 families on Mardi Gras; plan and finish details for the FOCUS Mission Trip I am directing to Colombia that starts two days after Mardi Gras!
Did I mention that each of these events happened with just ½ a day of rest between them and occurred in the same week that Lent is supposed to start! I had a lot of time to work for the Lord, and would pray throughout my work, asking Jesus for different things for each of these events. Conversions; silence; community; that the college students going on the mission trip would encounter Him in the poor we’re serving.
But it wasn’t until I was at Mass on the morning of Ash Wednesday, that I finally asked Jesus what he wanted from me this Lent. It was simple – He just wants me. See, as a youth minister, I can get caught up in all the details and work for an event. But at the same time, I know I am called to pray through it all, because after all, this is God’s mission, not mine. So I spend time praying for others and serving others. All good things, of course – but Jesus said he wants me. Before I can love and serve others – he wants my heart first.
So have I prayed for myself to love Jesus better so that I may praise and adore him more? Have I asked for continued healing so that I may hold more of Jesus and be a disciple after his own heart? I wish I could say, “Yep, everyday,” but that’s not true. I am a sinner and I forget – A LOT – but isn’t that what Lent is for? To lead us deeper into divine intimacy so that at the end of our life we can declare in full confidence: “Yes, Jesus you can have my heart. All that I desire and want, I give to you. I only ask for your heart in return.”
By: Paola Peña