The first sentence in today's Letter to the Colossians can be broken down into three words as it relates to our call as women following Jesus Christ: encounter, grow, and witness. These words have a lot of meaning in my local community, the Archdiocese of Detroit. As a local church we're working to "unleash the Gospel" in mighty new ways in Southeastern Michigan.
Encounter: "As you received Christ Jesus the Lord . . ." (Colossians 2:6)
How did you initially encounter Jesus in a personal way? We cannot love Him Whom we have not yet personally encountered. Jesus Christ can never truly be Lord over all in our lives if we have not met Him. When we receive the Lord, we can be changed by Him. But all of that begins with an encounter.
Grow: "walk in him . . ." (Colossians 2:6)
The word disciple translates to 'learner.' Being a disciple of Jesus means we are always learning to walk more in step with the King of Kings. It means we are trying to live the teachings of the Church and words of Jesus in Sacred Scripture. When we walk with Him in our daily lives, we are growing into who He created each of us to be.
Witness: "rooted in him and built upon him . . ." (Colossians 2:7)
When our lives are rooted in the truth of the Gospel, we can be His witness in the world. We need strong roots in the Sacraments, Saints, Community, and Scripture. When our roots are strong, we can be His band of joyful, missionary disciples.
Each of us needs a fresh outpouring. We all need to be made anew through encountering Jesus, growing as His disciples, and witnessing to Him in the world. For each of us it will look different, but none of us are exempt from this call on our lives. It is not a one-time deal. Rather, it is a continual, radical way of giving Jesus permission with our entire life. The more I give Jesus permission, the more He changes me from the inside out.
How have you personally encountered Jesus Christ? And where is that encounter leading you to witness to Him in your daily life?
Patty Breen is a runner, youth minister ordinaire, and thinks old movies are the greatest thing since sliced bread. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.