When I was first approached to consider joining the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative, I dismissed the idea pretty quickly. I was feeling overwhelmed by the demands of life and stretched too thin. I saw the value in this program, but there was no way I could afford another commitment, and certainly not something as heavy as an 18-week course for three hours a week… online.
So, without quite saying no, I moved on from the idea without much further thought. But TLI, as I know many of my peers have experienced, can be quite persistent in its pursuit of potential program participants. They kept checking in with me until finally… three hours before the application deadline I went to my fiancée and said, “Hone,y this guys won’t leave me alone. They want me to join this Catholic leadership program. Can I afford to say yes to this?”
I want to thank Cristofer Pereyra for his persistence and constant support. Thanks also to TLI for this platform they’ve created, and the mission they’ve accepted in forming leaders for civil society. It has been a blessing and an honor to participate in this program.
Something I’ve found to be true in my spiritual life is that we are all offered little invitations for spiritual growth. By the grace of God, and some helpful prompting by TLI, you each have said yes to this little invitation.
As I reflect on this time, I recognize that each one of you has shaped this experience through your participation. I have been challenged and inspired by your witness of faith. And what a blessing it has been to see young Catholics answering the call to leadership. Thank you for your witness, your faith, and your yes.
As we prepare to depart from this program and go out into the secular world, each of us is being offered an invitation. It’s an invitation to be better men and women, sons and daughters, father and mother figures, friends and leaders. Each day we are offered these little invitations to see others with the eyes of Christ, and respond to our roles, however small and insignificant they may seem, with genuine joy and compassion.
As we continue to discern what the Lord is asking from us in our leadership commitments, I pray that we continue to sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron. I pray that when life stretches us thin and we feel unable to answer the demands of daily life, we learn to lean on the Lord, that we lean on each other. I pray that we learn to pay attention to the doors He opens and the ones He allows to close. And I pray we do so with the example of magnanimity that Joseph models so well, with the openness and faith that Mary possessed, and the humility that Juan Diego embodied.
Go forth boldly my friends, and may God bless you and the world for your yes.
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