Radiating Joy and Faith!
There is a passage in a novel I was reading where the author describes a person riding on a bus as "radiating despair." That image resonated with me. I have been with people who radiated sadness and despair. I have also been with people who radiate hope and joy.
Throughout these holy seasons of Lent and Easter, I have been praying with this image. What does it mean to radiate faith?
In Lent, when the priest preached about the raising of Lazarus, he reminded us that there is a tomb for each of us, and each of us can look forward to Jesus telling us to "come out!" I saw the look on an older woman in my pew. Her face said, "Yes, I believe this." She was radiating faith.
On Easter Sunday, as the catechumen immersed themselves in the waters of baptism, I felt faith radiating. I pictured faith and joy deep in the hearts of the community gathered. It was rising the way heat rises from a sidewalk on a hot summer day. I sensed that this faith, so new and fresh, was palpable; the neighborhood should be able to feel it! As Catholics throughout the world said "yes" to their baptism, the world would feel it too.
This summer, the Bishops of the United States are hosting a convocation on theme of the Joy of Gospel. They want to meet with leaders from dioceses and Catholic organizations so that we can have a fresh, energized movement to help parishes radiate joy and faith. The Center for Ministry Development is one of the Catholic organizations who was invited to participate. We are sending a delegation of staff, but we have also been extended an invitation to include leaders who have participated in our training, resources and mission experiences supporting youth, young adult and family ministry. If you would like to register for this invitation-only event as part of the delegation from CMD, please send me an email at to receive our organizational code.
I also invite you to take a moment in prayer to imagine your faith and joy welling up inside you and extending to your community, your neighborhood and to the world. Your commitment to discipleship, your care for young people and families, your work and dedication extend beyond you – you radiate joy and faith!