Spirit and Truth is a young adult ministry near and dear to my heart. For starters...I met my hubby through this ministry in 2004! Secondly, I met many of my best friends in college through this ministry and through the Catholic Student Organization at Auburn! One of my very best friends, Mandi, also attended Auburn and God placed the desire on her heart to start Spirit and Truth in Auburn...and she asked me to help. I was beyond honored and the next two years we lead this ministry together, and when she graduated I took the reigns with help from others. This is still happening in Auburn and I am so blessed and humbled that I was able to take part of this!
The program was designed by young adults for young adults to get them in front of the Blessed Sacrament...Jesus present in the Eucharist...a beautiful thing! And the reason John 4:23 was chosen? Allow me to explain....
What does John 4:23 mean?
At the beginning of every S&T this BIble verse is stated because it is the foundation on which the program was built. In order to understand the meaning of John 4:23 we must go back, as the verse comes in the middle of a story. I'm not going to write down the entire story word for word as that would take me a lot of time. But here's the gist... (if you want to read it all...start at the beginning of John Chapter 4)
So there is this Samaritan women at the well and our main man Jesus approaches her. The woman looks at him and is basically like "hello...what are you doing here?" Jesus speaks to her and asks her for a drink. The woman is in super shock mode and looks at Jesus and asks Him why He wants a drink from her, a Samaritan woman.
Analogy Time Out - What' the big deal that this lady is talking to Jesus? Let me paint you a picture. It would like the Auburn-Alabama tailgate if an obnoxious (sorry Bama fans...it happens) rival fan came up to a huge Auburn tailgate and was asking for a beer or some food. People don't do that...it's not common...at all! So basically it's absolutely crazy that Jesus is asking this woman for a drink. The person Jesus is speaking to is not only a Samaritan, but a woman and it was totally not proper that a man like Jesus would go up and start a little convo with her...society no-no of the biblical times!
But Jesus continues to speak with her. He asks her to go and get her hubby...and she responds that she does not have one...that's right she doesn't have one because she is currently sleeping around with 5 different men..uh-oh. Even more embarrassing she didn't tell Jesus...he knew...that whole God knows everything about you will get you every time! Not knowing what else to do, the woman just stares at Jesus...and is like "okay...I get it, your a prophet of some kind (somewhat of an understatement since He is God on Earth) but my family and I have been worshipping on this mountain forever and not in Jerusalem where we should be."
Silly woman - here's what Jesus says back - he tells her that it does not matter where she worships because the hour is coming when she will not worship on a mountain or in Jerusalem...everyone will worship God in Heaven. And then it goes on...John 4:23:
THE HOUR IS COMING AND IS NOW HERE WHEN TRUE WORSHIPPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH! The hour is now and Jesus is here now (in the Blessed Sacrament, at Mass, in Adoration, in our day to day lives!)
The woman in the story goes on to share this with her neighbors and other Samaritans that the Messiah, the Anointed One had spoken with her. Time passes and other Samaritans tell the woman that they no longer believe that the Savior of the world has come because of what she told them but because they have heard it from Jesus themselves. They know that what the woman was sharing with them was truth!
So how does this wonderful story apply to Spirit and Truth, the ministry?
First and foremost, it's about community - each S&T is started with introducing ourselves, sharing in a silly question and ends with fellowship of some kind. In Auburn, it was followed by snacks and scatterball (scatterball is complicated and truly deserves a post of its own :) ) Jesus saw no difference in the Samaritan woman than any other person he spoke to in the New Testament. Sometimes it's hard for young adults to meet others who share our beliefs, morals, values, etc. That is why this program was started...to help young adults meet their social and spiritual needs by having time after Adoration to discuss what they got out of Adoration and share in fellowship and have fun with one another!
The pinnacle of the Catholic faith is also included in S&T. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist body, blood, soul, and divinity. Basically these are fancy words for believing that Jesus is as present and as real as he was when he walked this Earth 2000 years ago...the host in the monstrance is not a symbol, but truly the body of Christ. The hour is NOW here...each S&T contained time in front of Jesus where we worshipped the Father!
Jesus is here with us now and we are called by Him to worship!! And as I end all my talks...I leave you with a challenge: the next time you are in His presence, be it Adoration or Mass...I challenge you (and myself) to worship the Father...to praise and offer prayers of thanksgiving before asking! :-)