Your weekly reflection from Unbound
Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection is from Senior Writer/Editor Larry Livingston.
I sometimes think about the disciples on the hillside outside Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension. I imagine them looking at each other and asking, “Now what?”
The answer would become clear in time, but first they needed to go back to the upper room. They needed to be with one another. They needed to pray for guidance. (As you might recall, they eventually received it, and in impressive fashion.)
We each live, at times, in our own upper room. We wait, we dwell together in mutual support and, if we’re wise, we pray. All the while, if we listen closely, we can hear God whispering to us, with loving assurance, the words that give us the confidence to step back out the door.
“I believe in you.”
As important as our faith in God is, it’s God’s faith in us that gives us the courage to be agents of change in our world. We embrace our giftedness because we believe in the giver. We love because we’ve first been loved.
This week, most of the 41 Catholic priests who preach on behalf of Unbound will gather in Kansas City for our annual preachers conference. They come back every summer to share stories from the road, to learn about what’s new with our program and, like the disciples in the upper room, to pray together and encourage one another. Then, nourished for the journey, they go forth to continue to carry the Unbound message into faith communities across the U.S.
And what is that message? It’s no more and no less than what God says to each of us.
“I believe in you.”
It’s the same message we share with the young girl who’s been told that education is for others, not for her. It’s the message we deliver to families who, generation after generation, have heard they’re not good enough or capable enough. And it’s the message we give to our staff around the world who, every day, go the extra mile to serve those children and families.
The Unbound preacher’s role is to believe in those who, though they don’t yet know it, are waiting to join our community of compassion by becoming sponsors of children and elders. It’s to help the good and generous Catholic faithful make the connection between the Christ at the table in the front of church and the Christ who waits to be discovered on the table in the back of church.
Our preachers share that message well and wonderfully. But that doesn’t surprise us. After all, we believe in them.
Glorious God, you created the human person to proclaim your goodness. May we never shrink from that magnificent calling. Bolster us in times of doubt and send us companions in times of loneliness. At all times, give us the grace to live life to the full.