Monday, March 26, 2007

Promised Post on Trip to New Orleans

Spring Break this year began as I loaded up three mini-vans with luggage and people I barely knew and drove 24 hours south to a town which had been annihilated a year and a half earlier. It ended with a few houses gutted, a town still on life support, a 19 hour drive back, and lives which were changed forever.

This trip provided young people a chance to pitch in and lend support to a people wounded. A chance to live the Gospel in a way they had only heard about. A chance to meet people and to hear their stories of survival and heartbreak and offer a message of hope. It was a chance to be surprised by how insensitive human beings can be and how utterly wonderful they can be. It was all these things and in many ways these experiences were not surprises. One expects to be touched in these ways when one embarks on a trip like that.

What they didn't expect is what this post is all about.

What they didn't expect to discover was Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus himself embarked on this trip with us and showed us exactly who we are as Catholics and who we needed to be. In ways I have failed in describing, people met Jesus in prayer, they met him in their work, in their leisure, in our spontaneous "discussions" about the faith every night, they met him in a not so random homily that provided an answer to the frustrations they experienced that day; an answer of love. In short, what made this trip so amazing was Jesus: his love, his heart, and his desire that we "all be one."

Lives were changed that week, changed for good and all because we met Him who "makes all things new."

Praised be Jesus Christ: Now and forever, Amen.

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