Sarah Swafford: The Church Our Refuge

If Sarah Swafford could leave you with just a few points to remember from Steubenville Week One, it would be these: what happened this weekend was real, and you belong here in the Catholic Church.

The Church is Your Home

A lot has happened this weekend. We have experienced talks, praise and worship, adoration, and Mass. Old friendships have been strengthed and new ones have begun. We have encountered the love of Jesus Christ, and we can never go back. We know that Jesus was present here. It can be tempting to think that because we are leaving this exact location, we are leaving Jesus here, too. However, we know the Truth. We know that Jesus is present in every tabernacle around the world. We know that Jesus is at every Mass celebrated in the Catholic Church.

Jesus is with us. Always. The Church is with us always.

The Apostles and the Holy Spirit

The apostles were not perfect people. They sinned even when Jesus was with them, and after Jesus died, they were afraid of what was going to happen next. But, after His Resurrection, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with them at Pentacost. This was the beginning of the Catholic Church.

Even though the Holy Spirit was with them, life did not suddenly become easy for the apostles. Sarah recalled for us that the apostles of Jesus suffered persecution. Most were martyred for the faith. Even if we never have to face death for our belief in Jesus, we will have to die to ourselves in other ways. We will face people who will not understand the love that we have experienced here. But, as Pope Saint John Paul II frequently reminded us, “Be not afraid.”

Jesus is with you. The Church is with you. Here there is peace and fulfillment. Here is truth and joy and love. You belong here. The Eucharist provides you with the spiritual food you will need to stand for your faith. The Saints and Angels are with you. The Holy Spirit guides you.

Seek the Lord, and you will find refuge.

Questions to Consider

What has the Lord done in your heart this weekend?

What can you do to continue to grow in your faith and love of Jesus?


Our Sunday morning session can be viewed by clicking here. 

Written by Amanda Jelavich