¡Hola, mi familia y amigos! ¡Saludos desde Mexíco y paz en Jesús Christo!
I am finishing up my third week of training in Mexico, and wanted to share a quick update on how things are going.
As I begin to think about all I want to share with you, a verse from this weeks daily readings comes to mind that sums up what has been on my heart the last month, “for behold the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:21)
This is the truth the Father is revealing to my heart over and over again. The Kingdom of God is within me. He is within all of us. He dwells within us. He dwells inside my Mexican brothers and sisters. He dwells in the poor, the suffering, the oppressed. He is in those who don’t know Him; Those who reject Him. He is always with us, waiting for us to turn our thoughts to Him each day. What a consolation to know that Jesus in His almighty power and glory dwells within us?
St. Pope John Paul II said it best when He said that when we search for meaning, purpose, beauty, peace, and truth, we are really searching for Jesus.
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
When we search for these good things in life like happiness, beauty, greatness, and peace, I am again reminded that the Kingdom of God is in the midst of us. All we need to do is look within our own hearts for the love of Christ that dwells there. Peace Himself is in fact never more than an arms length away. So, I encourage you this week in the silence of your hearts to find the peace and “love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:17). Look within and ask God to reveal Himself to you there. That is everlasting life. That is what St. Paul means when he says, “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Lastly, in other exciting news, while in Mexico, I found out that I am being sent to Taiwan on mission for the next couple years. I am very excited for this opportunity and challenge of sharing the Gospel with people who have never heard of Christ in Asia. As I know to be true though, the Lord lives and dwells even in those who don’t know of him. The task may seem daunting and impossible, but I trust in this truth,
“that through the workings of the spirit, there already exists in individuals and peoples an expectation, even if an unconscious one, of knowing the truth about God, about man, and about how we are to be set free from sin and death” (Mission of the Redeemer pg. 60).
It looks like my work is already cut out for me thanks to the Holy Spirit! But in all reality, I do take great courage knowing that I get to labor to fulfill the great commission and the Lord indeed wants to use me in my weakness to participate in the salvation of souls!
I am excited to soon be back in Kansas for the month of December, and then off to Taiwan in January!
Please pray for all of the missionaries getting ready to leave for their mission posts. You are all in my prayers.
Jesus, You’re beautiful.
All praise and glory to Christ our King!
In His Abundant Mercy, Madison Smith