Despite the early morning wake-up call for most of us volunteers, there was a lot of hugging and smiling and excitement at Mass this morning! The energy comes naturally as we arrive here in Springfield to experience the gift of serving the teens this weekend. I think we’re as excited as the kids. We’ve been praying, preparing for the part we play in the conference, and reminding ourselves that it is about them – the teens – and their relationship with Christ. One intercession voiced our desires the best, “That we might be the face of Christ to the teens we encounter.”
Mass is always the kick-off for staff and volunteers each weekend of SteubySTL. Bishop Edward Rice of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau presided at today’s Mass and welcomed all of us volunteers gathered to receive the Eucharist before “going forth” to our roles. He recognized the sacrifices made by each person to be here. He said we are here to “spark the flame” in their hearts as a part of the new evangelization. He referred to the many examples in the Gospel where Christ satisfied the hunger and thirst of those who were listening to His words.
He met the thirst of the woman at the well, not just with physical water, but spiritually as well. We know from the teachings of the faith that hunger and thirst are most fully satisfied in the Eucharist. Bishop Rice recalled a song he sang in his youth, “Gift of Finest Wheat.” The refrain says, “You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat, come give to us o saving Lord, the Bread of Life to eat.” We are all called to grow closer to Christ, since He is what we are really longing for.
“We all have a deeper hunger, longing, a thirst and a desire for union with the Divine.”
“All of us are challenged to look beyond and to go deeper for what truly satisfies: Jesus Christ. He is the end result.”