By Megan Lowes
In today’s Gospel, Jesus instructs his followers to “go and make disciples of all the nations” through Baptism, spreading the word of God and helping others come to know and experience the love of our Lord. Jesus is sending His followers on a mission. When reading the Gospel, it is easy to assume that Jesus is speaking to his Apostles. However,
have you ever gotten the feeling that Jesus is speaking to you?
How many times have you heard today’s Gospel? For me, I have heard it dozens of times. Jesus is giving instructions before He is ascended into Heaven and tells His followers His vision. However, the first couple dozen times when reading this Gospel, I pictured Jesus speaking to someone else. Never me. The Gospel tells us that it is our mission to spread God’s word and make disciples of the world. It was not until about two years ago when I made this realization within my life.
In the fall of 2015, I was experiencing some life transitions. I had recently started a new job and was searching for something to do with myself since I had some free time and felt
there was a void in my life.
One day, I received a Facebook invitation for an informational Happy Hour for Young Catholic Professionals (YCP)– a national organization empowering young, Catholic professionals to witness their faith within their work environment. Like many, whenever I received a Facebook invitation for something, I would not think much of it. However, this particular invitation caught my eye and I wanted to attend.
When I attended the Happy Hour, I had the opportunity to learn about the history and mission of Young Catholic Professionals. At the time, there were five chapters across the country and Cleveland was looking to be one of the first chapters within the Midwest. Throughout the evening, I let what I heard sink in, as well as met other young professionals.
I had a yearning to be a part of this group of people.
I felt that those within Young Catholic Professionals were similar to me, as they were searching for others who were Catholic as well. I wanted to be in a place where I felt like I belong as well. After years of working within the Catholic Church, I often felt discouraged that I did not meet other Catholics who were my age and whose faith was the center of their lives, just as mine was. After some prayer and discernment, I decided to apply for a leadership position on the new YCP Cleveland team. I was invited to serve as the chapter’s Vice President and Director of Marketing.
I was excited for this position, but it was not until a few months into it, I fully realized what I was getting myself involved with.
After a few months into my position, I realized that I was not just helping run the organization, as well as complete marketing tasks for the group, I was helping evangelize, as well as helping other young professionals rediscover Jesus Christ. Whenever I attend a YCP Cleveland event, I feel my heart on fire. Not only do I gain much from each of the events and learn something from the seasoned professionals who come to speak, but I feel and experience God’s love through the young professionals I meet. It is amazing to be in a room with young adults who are in various stages of their faith journeys. Additionally, it is incredible to be involved with a conversation with someone who has been away from the Catholic Church for a while and who is searching for answers.
It is a humbling experience to be able to be one of the first individuals who they have spoken with about faith in years.
For me, YCP Cleveland is how I am making disciples of others. My involvement with YCP Cleveland brings me great joy and so my ministry to young professionals who attend our events, does not feel like work at all. While I have realized that being involved with YCP is how I can evangelize and help others experience God in a community of young adults, this experience can be different for others.
My challenge to you is this: think about what aspect of your faith brings you joy.
It may be attending a Young Adult group, Theology on Tap, or maybe volunteering your time to organizations like YCP or The Living Person. Now think about how you can make disciples through your involvement.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan is a 2009 graduate of Saint Joseph Academy. After graduating from SJA, she attended John Carroll University and earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in May 2013. Since graduating from John Carroll, Megan has spent the last three years working within ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland. Since October 2015, she has served as the Pastoral Associate at Saint Clarence Parish in North Olmsted. Additionally, Megan completed her Masters of Nonprofit Administration in May 2016 from John Carroll University. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing arts and crafts, exercising and spending time in nature.