Life is described as a journey, and those discerning a vocation are on a special adventure. I’m sure you’ve been on journeys that are both enjoyable and mysterious. You may know the general direction, but not all the things you'll meet on the road. Some will delight and some will confuse you.
I want to highlight for you a particular journey. I’m sure you know the Emmaus story—two disciples making a journey home, vigorously talking about Good Friday's overwhelming event.
Can you imagine being with them? The lively exchange, the empty tomb, a mysterious stranger who seems disconnected to Jesus' death and burial, and heavenly messengers saying Jesus was alive. Your heart burns whenever this stranger talked. If it wasn't for the sharing of bread at the evening meal, you'd still wonder "who is this?"
Have you ever felt moved like this? Redemptorists have, and we form our seminarians to preach and make people’s hearts burn. Realizing who dines with us and walks with us, we respond by preaching Jesus' love.
Formation invites our seminarians to follow Jesus with a renewed heart, mind and spirit. They do this in their prayer, study and ministry. They practice preaching and listen to the comments from Formation Directors and classmates so people's hearts will burn with love of Jesus.
We teach our seminarians to recognize Jesus’ presence where he’s already working. On the Road to Emmaus, Jesus walked, talked and listened to his disciples. When the time was right, he gave the full revelation and moved them to action. This is the evangelization we do as Redemptorists. We engage people and find out how Jesus is already working in their lives. When Jesus opens the door, we preach his Word.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message,
so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3)
Pray for our seminarians today, that they will be ready. May God prepare them for the opportunities he presents, so that they may evangelize and set hearts burning.
In Christ the Redeemer,
Father John K. Schmidt,
Director, Co-Redemptorist Association
P.S. Please respond today with your gift supporting our Redemptorist seminarians. You make possible the vocation to which God has called them.