Monday night I went to my first Denver Catholic Young Adult Event. I had been interested in going, but for some reason, I just hadn't made the effort to go out. However, when I heard that two of my favorite podcasters would be speaking at Theology on Tap about ZOMBIES, I knew I had to go. Why?
1. Fr. John & Deacon Nathan are hilarious. They are the main podcasters of Catholic Stuff You Should Know. Basically a podcast where they just chat about random, sweet, Catholic stuff. It's usually very insightful and they typically blow my mind with all the things they tell us.
2. ZOMBIES. I never, ever, in a million years, thought I would be into Zombie things....like Zombieland and The Walking Dead. But oh my gosh what a great movie and a great show.
3. The talk was titled "Zombies and the Thirst For Communion," so I assumed it was about the Eucharist. Which...I was wrong.
4. Jesus & zombie shows have been the base of some of my new friendships out here in Colorado (weird, I know). So we all just knew we had to go together. And obviously end the night with some Walking Dead.
In typical CSYSK fashion, this was not what I was expecting. The basic gist of the talk was that Deacon Nathan was watching The Walking Dead and after he went outside and realized how alone you would feel if your whole life was simply about survival. You would feel alone because you wouldn't have anyone to really communicate yourself to. They then talked about true friendship and how we are made for communion with God and communion with others.
We have a desire to know and be known. This can only be fulfilled by Jesus, and Jesus was all about being incarnate, in the flesh (can anyone say Eucharist!?). He created us for community with others so that we can be known and really understood. Community is about getting deep and real into the lives of others so you can support each other and build one another up.
One of my favorite things that Fr. John said was that this so called Young Adult Community is not a community. We don't have the capacity to be in true communion with the hundreds of fellow believers that are around us. But we do have the capacity to know and be known by a few. We need to invest ourselves in a few people and very intentional with them.
If you feel alone in your pursuit of Christ and you feel as if you are not really being known, there is hope. We can look to Jesus and model what he did with community. He was open and available to all, but He closely invested in 12, and then built up 3 even more within that 12. He had a core community that He was intentional with, He connected them to each other, and He worked to build them up so when He was gone they could be sent out. He did this by praying with them and living His ordinary, every day life with them for three years.
We can do this too.
We can be intentional, like getting together with a friend or a small group each week and share where we are at with Jesus and our faith. If you don't have friends in your area that can support you in this, you have the ability to build. Gather some peers, open the Bible, and dive into who Jesus is to each of you. Be intentional about fostering and maintaining the relationships that you do have - especially the ones that lead you closer to Jesus.
I love that FOCUS does this each day on the college campus. Missionaries and students are being intentional about having a community that builds them up - people who they can be known with. At the same time they are being intentional about being that for someone else in their lives. This model of close, connected living is changing lives, changing The Church, and changing the world. It is so beautiful because it is so simple.
Fr. John ended the night by saying, "We have to change the way we're living if we want to become saints. Otherwise we'll just become zombies."
This week, I'm being intentional about being open with my friends about where I really am at with Jesus. I am grateful for my friends here in Colorado and all across the country who help me connect to Jesus, and for those I can be an agent of communion to.