It’s been nearly a year and a half since I moved away, but it feels like yesterday. When I left, I knew life was going to change. My family and I were used to seeing our best friends in the world a few times a week. We worked together, grabbed coffee, went out, prayed together. We truly weren’t living life on our own. We were living within an incredible community.
Each of us has an innate desire for community. We desire the connection and care that comes from knowing we have people to rely on. We desire the assurance and affirmation of fitting in. We desire the purpose of being a part of something that is bigger than ourselves.
You might look at Arise and see events and missions and conferences. You might think of a certain type of music or incredible priests. You might think of a specific speaker, or video screens, or even a spotlight. But the thing that makes Arise great goes much deeper than what the eye can see.
It’s the community. And more than that, it’s the communion.
It’s the communion of a people who wish to meet Jesus in a deeply personal way through the Eucharist. Whether it’s Mass and Adoration at Cor Jesu, Adoration at an Arise Saturday Night, Mass and Adoration at the Encounter Conference, or the thousands of daily prayers and devotions offered up by the many members of the Arise community, the true strength of Arise lies in our communion.
There are plenty of obvious ways to be involved in the Arise community. You can show up to an Arise Saturday Night. You can go to Cor Jesu. You can engage with us on Instagram or Facebook. You can listen to the Cor Jesu homilies on our website. You can come to a social event or a fundraiser. You can be a part of our monthly donor community.
These all represent fantastic opportunities to grow in the community. There is no pressure, no fear of where you will fit in, no fear of how you will be accepted, no entrance exam, no dues, no expectations. You come as you are and you participate as you can. Some of the ways you can participate in the community are more direct: like volunteering, being present at events, or being a monthly giver. Others are more indirect, like engaging with us on social media.
But the beauty is this: the greatest level of engagement with the Arise community, is still – and forever will be – in the Eucharist.
Our community is found not in the things that we do, but the people we are. And we are a people of the Eucharist.
So let me encourage you: engage in the community. Trust me – as someone who can’t participate in every way he would like - it’s a special thing happening here and we’re all lucky to be a part of it.
Go to the missions, Cor Jesu, and the Encounter conference. Join in on social events and social media. Become a part of the donor base. They are fantastic ways to engage in the community.
But most importantly, go to Jesus in the Eucharist.
And know that when you do, you are joining a communion that’s bigger than all of us.
And even though I’m hundreds of miles away, I’ll see you there.