Jesus, your choosing me gives me a sense of my place in the world, a sense of purpose. You are not waiting until I become a better person; you choose me here and now. What do you want me to do with my life today?
This might sound over the top, but for me, this quote truly characterizes my life. It certainly didn’t describe me 30 years ago or 20 years ago or maybe even 10 years ago. My sense of being chosen and loved by Jesus is something that has grown in me over the years. This sense of being chosen grounds me. It gives me a feeling of peace, comfort, and stability. Whatever happens, I am his.
In no way more is this true than in my vocation as a catechist. Beyond being a wife and mother, being a catechist is how I answer the question, “Jesus, what do you want me to do with my life today?” Over time I have settled on the word vocation when I talk about being a catechist, because it captures that sense of purpose and calling I feel. Jesus chose me to be his disciple. Jesus chose me to be a catechist to lead children to know him better. One of the most exciting days in my year is that first day of faith formation class when I meet the children and anticipate what the upcoming year will bring.
I began as a catechist 15 years ago, when my son was preparing to make his First Holy Communion. In no way did I foresee how being a catechist would become an integral part of my identity and my life. I just thought I would get a teacher book that would tell me what to do and say, show up for 90 minutes a week during the school year, and that was that. How little did I know how much goes into being a catechist!
Jesus did not wait until I knew every detail of our Catholic faith before choosing me to be a catechist. I have discovered that there has been no better way for me to learn about the faith than by being a catechist and transmitting it to the children in my class. Even as I teach the same curriculum year after year, I always learn something new, or a different emphasis jumps out at me. For example, deciding which saints to introduce to my class consistently leads me to learn more about the Communion of Saints.
With every day (and every class), I am comforted in knowing that Jesus chose me (and continues to choose me), not because of what I know, but because of who I am.
What has your call to be a catechist been like? How has being a catechist helped you grow in your faith?