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Do Not Be Afraid to Dream of Great Things!

March 31st, 2014by Joe Ollier

greatthingsA little over one year ago, on March 13, 2013, the College of Cardinals elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the 265th successor of St Peter.  He chose the name Francis, and ever since he stepped out onto the Vatican balcony and shyly waved hello, he has taken the world by storm. 

  The amazing thing I’ve seen about Francis is that he has said nothing really very different from what John Paul II or Benedict had said before him.  On all the so-called controversial issues like women in the Church, abortion, homosexuality, etc… he has said nothing but the truth of what the Church has taught for centuries.  But he has spoken and lived in a way that has made the Joy of the Gospel real.  And this authenticity has allowed him to be heard by people who have dismissed the Church as irrelevant or uncaring or hopelessly stuck in the past.  Suddenly, the simple words and actions of one man are making the Gospel real to the world. 

The thing is, all of us are called to do the same.  All of us are called, by virtue of our humanity, to lives of holiness.  All of us are called, by virtue of our Baptism, to be Saints.  All of us are called, by our participation in the Eucharist, to be Christ for the world. 

Lent is a great opportunity to rededicate ourselves to this call to holiness and sainthood.  Through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we’ll all have the chance to re-evaluate our lives in light of the Gospel. Chances are your parish has special opportunities this Lent for praying the Stations of the Cross and for Confession.

This Lent, let’s take the opportunity to grow closer to our Lord.  May our sacrifices help us to understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us; may our prayers unite our will with God’s, and may our fasting remind us of our hunger for the Truth that is found only in God.

And through it all, may others look at us as they look at Pope Francis and see that Christ is alive and at work in our lives. 

Joe Ollier

Joe Ollier is the Coordinator of Youth Ministry at Ascension Parish in Kettering where he and his family are. He has 20 years experience in youth ministry and a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dayton.