As the school year wraps up here at Texas State, the fruit of our labors becomes more and more visible. One of the most beautiful things about reaching the end of a year with the same people is being able to look back and see that the challenges and frustrations of community life is always worth it. We are created to be in relationship, relationship with the Lord and with the people He's placed in our life, and it's exciting to see the ways that fighting for the goodness of relationships brings us closer to the Lord. There's been a bittersweet joy in the air the last few weeks as everyone can feel the year coming to a close. There's a joy in the friendships that we've been able to form and deepen throughout this year, and an eagerness in inviting new people into that. There's a desire to spend carefree time with one another: making brunch after mass, spending time at the river, and having good conversation around a bonfire.
Living in Households isn't always easy, and more often than not we learn that we have to choose to love those around us. We have to choose to:
- wash someone else's dishes for the fifteenth time that week
- enter into worship together despite our tiredness
- resolve conflict with a roommate even though it would be easier to let things slide
- commit and re-commit to the Formation program after a long day of classes
It's easy during the year to get caught up in the hard work of building good relationships, but the Lord desires deep and life-giving relationships for each of us. Choosing to love and to give generously without counting the cost leads to abundant life. At the end of the year, when we're able to pause and look at how far we've come in our individual friendships with one another and as a unified community, we are able to see the gift that these brothers and sisters are to us. Our hearts grow every time we choose to love those around us until eventually we can't help but to see the Lord in them and love Him there.
One of the most beautiful things we do in Households is what we call "honorings." We carve out time to affirm the good qualities in our brothers and sisters in person. We've been able to do this with each other a number of times in these last few weeks of school, and it's an incredible witness of how the Lord has worked in each of our friendships this year. Hearing what everyone has to say about particular people gives us a glimpse into how they have blessed each of us in the community; it gives us the joy of seeing how the Lord has worked in us over the year and provides a space to rejoice in the way we've grown closer to Him.
Praise the Lord for the opportunity to learn how to love well, to choose brotherhood and sisterhood, and to live in the abundant joy of relationship with Him!