The Call

Have you ever spent any time with a 3-year-old? Well, if you have, you will know that the most said word in any conversation is ‘why?’.

People often ask what we do. But often, what they really want to know is why. Why are you giving a year of your life away from your home, when you could have been studying – or working – or doing pretty much anything else, to minister to young people?

It wasn’t because we had nothing else to do or ran out of Netflix to watch but because Jesus has called us to this mission and to share His love with those we meet. Whether that came from times of silent discernment or an undeniable tug on our heart to make the name of Jesus known to the young people of Australia, each of us were called by God in some way.

“I encountered my first NET team when I was in grade seven when a team came to my primary school and held an Encounter Day. At that time, I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. My family and I would regularly attend Mass but it was more of a traditional thing than anything else. But seeing these young people and their passion and love for Jesus inspired me. They showed no signs of reservation and in fact were proud of their faith which was quite unusual to see. It was on that day that God put the desire to be a missionary in my heart. I remember leaving that Encounter Day promising myself that one day I would become a NET missionary and live out a life of faith that was just as radical as the young people that ministered to me.”

-Ellie, MX Mission Wollongong NET team member

St Josemaria Escriva, a Catholic priest who founded Opus Dei said, “He (Jesus) did not say you would not be troubled, you would not be tempted, you would not be distressed, but he did say you would not be overcome.” In the face of challenges, it is so important for each of us to remember our ‘why’; the reason that God has called us. We have been entrusted with a beautiful message of hope, love and joy but sharing this comes with difficulties sometimes.

An experience that we shared was a challenging retreat with over 150 year 8’s. Throughout the whole day the students seemed disinterested and indifferent. The day was wrapping up and feeling a little discouraged, we decided to pray again together briefly. They came in after a break and the way the session went was totally unexpected. They entered into the time of reflection so respectfully and some of the team even had the opportunity to pray with some of the students.

This year, we are simply called to share our experiences of the love of Jesus. And whether it be by standing up the front and delivering a talk or by simply taking the time to be present to the young people, the call is to love in every action. This is our why.

On the 21st of April 2013, just after ordaining 10 men to the priesthood, Pope Francis called on young Catholics to “ask Jesus what he wants from you and be brave!” These words were not just meant for those at St Peter’s on that day but are meant for us today, for you today. But first, to be called anywhere we must first listen. So maybe take some time to ask Jesus what he wants from you and always remember; wherever Jesus calls us, He goes with us there.

Wollongong MX Mission NET Team

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