High school and college fall sports, such as football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country are heading into the off-season. Unless a team is heading to the playoffs, this is the beginning of a time of rest, without competitions and little or no training for fall sports. As a sports enthusiast, this got me thinking that there is no off-season for Christians. Thank goodness!
Have you ever heard someone say, “You’ve been attending Mass each Sunday and praying daily so you deserve a break and time-off from exercising your faith?” No, I didn’t think so. There is no off-season for followers of Jesus.
This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This marks the end of the Liturgical Season. Yet, there is no break before we start the new year. There is no break or bye-week. The next Sunday begins Advent and a new Liturgical Year begins all over again.
So how do we do it? How do we go from one season to the next? How do we maintain our strength and stamina? How do we stay motivated and committed with no off-season? Here are a few suggestions:
Stay Close to Jesus. Jesus is our example of living a life faithful to the Father. He can offer us rest. He is our source of strength.
Live in the Spirit. Jesus has blessed us with the Holy Spirt. The gifts of the Holy Spirit empower us. Ask the Spirit to bless you with what you need.
Find Community. Just like athletes need to be a part of a team, Christians need to be a part of a community. Our companions can lift us up when we fall, encourage us when we stumble, and inspire us by their lives.
Don’t Quit. It is not easy to follow Jesus. His life was not easy, and he never said it would be easy for us. But don’t quit. “Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed” (Romans 8:18).
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances!”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18