Justin Reyes

Justin Reyes

Our God sees us in all the struggles, challenges and joys we see in our families. Perhaps your family feels broken, or has not developed as you hoped it would. But I’d like to tell you that God sees you in the midst of whatever you are going through.

As many have pointed out, even Jesus’ family line experienced brokenness, or at least challenges.

We can look to King David, who had his transgressions during his life. Or the mother of Judah, who was the “unwanted” bride of Jacob. Or even the unique circumstance Jesus entered into, as his foster-father St. Joseph had to rely on God to understand his bride’s pregnancy, and put his faith completely in God’s plan and providence.

The Bible, and the church, are not full of perfect people. They are full of people aspiring for perfection, but only on the basis and strength of our God.

I myself am a young father trying to figure out how to live my vocation well. I’m so grateful for the people God has put in my path to help me, and for the power of prayer, but some days I feel like a complete failure. I wonder, “Am I loving my children enough? Am I loving my wife enough? Am I really living as the man God has called me to be?”

Perhaps you struggle with the same questions. We all seem to be hard on ourselves — if only we could view ourselves with the same eyes of mercy as our loving God. No matter what failures you have had, or the current state of your family, our God is here to help, redeem and save any situation.

There is always hope.

Years ago, I met a man who said he had many failures in his life. His name was Larry, and he was an older gentleman at the church I was attending as a young adult fresh out of college. Larry may not remember me, but I sure do remember him. We met through a study called “Why Catholic?” which was all about why we were choosing the Catholic faith. It was perfect timing in my life, because I was discerning where God was calling me and which church to attend.

Larry had such a passion for the faith, like he had rediscovered something he had been missing for years. He acknowledged that he had been away from the church for a long time, but this rediscovery gave him a new zest for life and hope for the future.

One of my favorite moments with Larry was when he looked over at me, smirking, and said, “You know what BIBLE stands for right? Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” That moment always stuck with me, and has helped guide my life ever since.

So I thank Larry for reminding me that life is messy, but God is good.

Through the twists and turns he experienced, Larry was led to that study with me. He showed me how God’s mercy and hope can extend to us wherever we are.

And now I’m here to remind you that wherever you find yourself, God is with you. If you keep your gaze upon him, he will give you hope that only he has to offer.

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Justin Reyes is Director of Family Evangelization for the Catholic Diocese of Victoria.

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(1) comment

Glenn Wilson

"There is always hope." -- Hope is not a strategy, but that and vague promises for the future are always all there are. Actual divine intervention would be much more helpful. Still waiting...

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