By: Ava Marcarelli
I’m going to take you all back to August and to Pine Hills Girls’ Camp 2018—the theme was “Be The Light” and this theme has stuck with me and other staff members more than any other. I’ve been a counselor a Pine Hills for five years now and it’s amazing how the Lord works something new in me every year I go. There are a lot of lessons from the Lord that I could share with you, especially a lot I learned from this past year, but I think there’s one lesson in particular that he wants you all to carry along into this Year of Light:
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
This verse from Luke 12:49 has set my heart on fire! Every time I read it, I want to scream it! Jesus came to set the earth on fire and we are all called to help him in that! He has made us Christians co-heirs of Salvation and has instructed us to go out and do as he did. He wants us to be the medium through which he saves souls! How cool is that? I know what you might be thinking: how am I supposed to help save anyone? I need saving myself! I constantly fail and fall into sin. I’m not good enough. There are holier people that Jesus could use. There are more talented people that Jesus could use. I’m unworthy. I’m incapable, etc.
To this I say: do not despair, my sisters in Christ! I’m no better than you, and all those doubts and more have gone through my own mind. “It’s impossible,” I told Jesus. “How could you possibly use me, in all my brokenness and failure, to be a light to the world?” Over these past two months, he has shown me. He wants me as I am, sins and all—that alone will make him happy. He doesn’t expect any of us to come to him already perfect. Instead, when we come to him in whatever state we’re in, he will slowly form us into saints that reflect his perfect image. Patience! He will lead you to holiness and sainthood, but he knows that most of us can only take baby steps.
The Lord wants you, wherever you are, right now, to turn your face towards Him. We all have the inclination to be like Adam and Eve, to turn our faces from Him because of the shame we feel. It’s hard to look someone in the eyes when you know you’ve done something that has hurt them. But Jesus willingly came to die for us while we were all still sinners. He didn’t wait to come until we could prove ourselves or our loyalty to him. He came to save us as we are. Let him do what he came to do. Let him save you. Only when we let him in can we be a light to others. Once you let God in, you can be a light to everyone, wherever you go, even if you’re not aware of it. And he wants you to do it now! You don’t have to join a convent or know exactly which career God is calling you to in order to be a saint. As a student, you can be a light to your classmates. Let the Holy Spirit guide you—talk to someone you haven’t talked to, and if you see someone you don’t really know but you think they’re beautiful, tell them and make their day. Be open to whatever God wants you to do, down to the tiniest thing.
To reinforce what I’m saying, here are some of the Words straight from Jesus that we received at Pine Hills this past year. It’s a message he has for all of you:
I am equipping you to be my saints. I am equipping you to go into the world and to bring my light. You are young, but you are my messengers…My Father is anointing you and the lamp that he is lighting for you contains a special oil. Oil of peace, of gladness, of courage. I have anointed you with this oil, and you shall anoint others. And the steps you take shall not be stumbling, but you shall run with power and might in my anointing.
Whether it’s as a student, a businesswoman, a nurse, a nun, or something else, we can all do God’s work! Ask for more of the Holy Spirit and he will come to you and embolden you! In this world so full of darkness, our small flames can seem like nothing, but as we turn to those next to us and light their candles as well, an ocean of light begins to brighten the darkness and draw others in until the whole world is aflame! LET’S SET THE WORLD ON FIRE!