In this annual series, current and former volunteers reflect on the Lenten Gospels and the Four Pillars of Faith-Based Service: Social Justice, Simplicity, Community and Spirituality. Presented by Catholic Apostolate Center and Catholic Volunteer Network.
Second Sunday Lenten Reflection By Jessica Nahmias, Rostro de Cristo
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:1-9)
“Lord, it is good that we are here.” There were many days when the words of this week’s Gospel reigned in my heart while I lived in Ecuador. In the joyful moments of visiting my neighbors in Arbolito to the trials of standing in solidarity with them, these words always seemed true. It was good that I was there. Each day surprised me with savory smells of sharing meals, prayers of trust and deliverance, exhaustion from two work sites and learning Spanish. But, it was good that I was there.
It was good that I was there to rejoice with 7-year-old Sarita learning how to ride a bike. It was good that I was there to learn how to crochet with Señora Pastora on Sunday afternoons. It was good that I was there to hold tightly onto Señora Ivon through an earthquake. Sometimes I don’t know how I ended up where I did each day. But I know that, wherever it was, it was good that I was there.
Although it has been a year and a half since I lived in Ecuador, these words still echo in my life today. They challenge me to trust in the Lord, right here and right now. Whether you are a volunteer near or far, a graduate student like myself, a mother or father, or in the midst of figuring out who you are, know that we can stand together in faith right here and right now, and say, “Lord, it is good that we are here.”
Jesus, I trust in you. Be my light in the darkness and my guide through the unknown. Teach me how to live more fully, right here and right now. Show me your presence and your face, El Rostro de Cristo, in everyone around me. Through the joys, sorrows, blessings, and trials of each moment and each day, remind me that it is good that I am here with you, Lord. Increase my trust in you!
Focus on Spirituality
In this Gospel, Jesus reveals to us that He is present with us, even when we don’t recognize him. How often do I struggle to “see” Jesus outside of the walls of the church? He wants to expand our view of who He is and where He is. As we grow in faith, we may begin to encounter Him in places and faces where we did not previously. Just like the disciples, we need to rise with courage and trust, with eyes ready to see Jesus in strangers, friends, and family – beyond the walls of the church.
Rostro de Cristo means “The Face of Christ.” How can you serve the Face of Christ around you? One suggestion is to make care bags for the homeless to keep in your car. A care bag can include snacks, hygiene products, socks, hand warmers, and a prayer card or personal note. Keep a few in your car as you drive so you can always be prepared to spread God’s love and serve the homeless. And, ask for the person’s name as you hand each care bag out so you can pray for them!
Jessica is currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland preparing to be an ESOL teacher. She served with Rostro de Cristo in Ecuador from 2017-18, where she fell in love with her Ecuadorian neighbors, Spanish, and plantains. Now she can be found looking for a good hike or chapel to explore!
Looking for more reflections like this one? We invite you to download our Lenten Reflection Guide in its entirety, available by clicking here. You can also find an extensive library of Lenten resources by visiting the Catholic Apostolate Center website – click here.