Joel Stepanek: Thirsting for Life

Our thirsting souls have been showered with the love and mercy of God. Joel Stepanek’s talk on Sunday morning implored all of us to not wait until tomorrow to live our faith and to do the work of evangelization that needs to be done today. What we have received to quench our thirsting souls must be brought beyond these doors to reach a culture that is parched.

The Lie

Joel shared the lie that Satan uses to keep us from holiness: start tomorrow. It is so easy to put off making decisions about the important things. Even today, on the last day of Steubenville, you may be thinking, “I can start living my faith tomorrow.” But then tomorrow comes and we are too tired or we let our parents or friends get under our skin or we are scared what our classmates might think. So we say to ourselves: “I’ll wait till next year’s Steubenville conference” or “I’ll wait until I go to college to live my faith.”

The Holy Spirit Seeks Our Thirsting Souls

That can’t be the way we live, as Joel explained. As we leave this place, we do not go alone; we go with the Holy Spirit who is water for our thirsting souls. The Holy Spirit is generated from the very love between the Father and the Son. In Acts 2, we hear that the Holy Spirit was poured upon the Apostles. Likewise, God wants to pour that love upon us. The Holy Spirit can truly quench our thirsting souls because what we most truly desire is to be loved.

Called to Overflow onto Thirsting Souls

Not only can the Holy Spirit quench our thirsting souls, He desires to overflow through your soul to quench the thirst of all those who couldn’t be here at Steubenville. The world is a desert, broken by hatred and violence. The world craves the love and truth and mercy you have experienced this weekend.

Joel pointed out that just twelve Apostles transformed the culture and toppled the Roman Empire after Pentecost. How much more can 4,300 gathered here do, empowered by the Holy Spirit?


If we have this thirst, why do we direct that longing to other things that don’t help us survive?

We don’t have to be parched, dry land absorbing water. God pours out this water on us always, we can be beautiful. We can be alive.

The message you have been given is far too important to forget about. The living water you’ve been given is desperately needed outside this door.

Written by Stephanie To
Stephanie To works for the Respect Life Apostolate for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. A lawyer and bioethicist by training, she is passionate about the Catholic faith and pro-life issues. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys making music (playing the violin, playing the handbells, and singing), cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and KU Jayhawks, and hanging out with friends. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephaniehto.