I entered the evening with no expectations. Sometimes that is the best place to be with the Lord.
My sister had an extra ticket and so I figured I could go to the event. There would be adoration and so it couldn’t be a waste of time. The Lord, in His mercy, blew me away.
The talk was good, but it wasn’t that. The music was nice, but it wasn’t that. In all simplicity, it was the Lord. He knocked, I opened, and He came in. There were no specific words that He spoke to me, but He filled my heart with a burning desire to be wholly His.
Over the last few years, I have grown more and more comfortable with my role as a teacher. This year, I have found comfort in reflecting on how my responses have changed since my first year of teaching. While grateful for the experience I now have, I realized that I was becoming more of a teacher but less of a missionary. It is good and necessary to think of new projects or ways to present ideas to the students. Yet I was feeling less and less of this desire to present the glorious truths to them. Convicted of my mediocrity, I asked the Lord for renewed zeal.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote that I wanted to enter into spiritual battle for my students. In that, I have failed miserably. During adoration, as Jesus was processed around the auditorium, I was convicted of that failure and filled with a desire to go to war for them. I don’t want to just teach them; I want them to encounter the living reality of Christ.
As my eyes followed Jesus around the auditorium, the Lord gave me the most beautiful gift. I saw a student I had last semester. While I wasn’t particular close to him, I was glad to see he was present. As Jesus in the monstrance approached him, his quiet, gentle smile became more and more radiant. Obviously, I cannot tell what was happening interiorly, but what I saw was beautiful. As Jesus passed, he bowed his head and prayed, a spirit of peace permeating around him. And my tender teacher heart was overjoyed. For me, it was one of the greatest gifts the Lord could give to me.
“No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.” (3 John 1:4)
That is what I want. Yes, I want them to pass my class. I want them to like me. I want them to behave. I want them to leave their phones in their lockers. But, most of all, I want them to know Him. I want my class to be a place of genuine encounter with the Lord. I desire to share my life and heart with them. I want them to come to me with questions about Jesus and I want to let the Holy Spirit speak an answer through me. I want to be overflowing with joy for the Lord. I want to see in their faces their unique potential to transform the world by their “Yes” to Jesus. I want to enter into the fray and fight in the battle for their souls. I want to be a living testimony to the transformative power of Jesus Christ.
I went to this event expecting to simply have some time to pray. But the Lord presented an opportunity to me. He asked me to seriously enter into the battle for souls. It won’t always look glorious and they won’t always be grateful. For a while I’ve been bugging the Lord and praying for a mission of greatness. And He tangibly reminded me in my school’s auditorium that I work in the midst of the greatest mission for souls.
Pray for me to accept the graces the Lord is offering and to pursue this very old and yet very new mission.
Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.
(Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41)