“Snow Pants”, By Jan Pepino, Fiat Ventures

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

God, being the artist that he is, leaves his fingerprints everywhere. One of my favorite places to find and reconnect with him is in the nature. Whether it’s taking a hike or going on snowboarding trips, I’m always reminded that he made all things good and beautiful. Naturally, going on trips to see new places became something my wife and I enjoy doing together. The most memorable trip that I’ve ever taken was going to Alaska the week after my wedding.

I remember being filled with anticipation and excitement considering all the nature that was waiting for us. I packed everything I could possibly think of and more just in case. By the time we got to our Igloo hotel in Fairbanks, I unpacked my luggage only to realize that I forgot to bring my snow pants. We were going off roading on the snow filled mountains of Alaska in single-digit temperatures and all I had were jeans. To top it off, we were in the middle of nowhere, fifty miles away from the nearest town. I was dreading having to go on this excursion unprepared.

The next morning, we headed to the off-roading station. Shivering in my Old Navy pants, I opened the door to the building. We signed in then proceeded to the next room to get our helmets. To my surprise, a pair of bright sky-blue snow pants were on the seat next to my helmet. I was saved. Thank God!

In life, we sometimes find ourselves unprepared, and then God provides for our needs. This week’s Gospel shows us that if we are willing to follow God’s calling for us, he will provide everything that we need to accomplish what he has set us out to do. With only their walking sticks, clothes and sandals, the apostles were able to drive out many demons and anoint many people who were sick.

This week’s readings remind us that we don’t need much to fulfill our role in proclaiming God’s kingdom. We don’t have to be good enough or prepared enough; and we could never be on our own anyway. He only asks that we bring hearts that are willing to serve and follow him. The Apostles didn’t have much, but Jesus was able to use them to spread his love to all the world.

This week, let’s challenge ourselves to serve him as readily as the Apostles. Whether it’s smiling at a stranger or organizing a food drive, Jesus is calling all of us to serve him with open hearts to how he wants to use us. Maybe the call is to something we don’t have experience with or haven’t done before. But we can trust that “where God guides, he provides” as the saying goes. So for your spiritual journeys, pack your Bible and your Rosary, and God will provide for the mission. But for your journeys out into nature, don’t forget to pack your snow pants.

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