By Kelly Wahlquist
I saw this meme the other day on social media and found myself smiling… for a plethora of reasons.
First, I thought of how boys eagerly turn anything into a competition; seldom is a request to retrieve something not met with, “Wanna race?” Then, I chuckled at the thought of the loser downplaying the win.
How often do we do this in life? “I didn’t want that promotion anyway! The hours are horrible, and the pay isn’t all that great.” And, the icing on the cake, the dissed victor has an ace up his sleeve. Actually, in this case, he has four aces—he’s going to write a Gospel, and his words will echo throughout the centuries on the holiest of Christian celebrations!
What I like about this meme and even more about the story in John’s Gospel, is that they show how each of us is called to play our part in the body of Christ. We are each given a role in building God’s kingdom on earth, and we should not be jealous of the role of another; instead, we should pray to recognize that role and respect it. And, we should pray to recognize our role and virtuously live it.
Mother Teresa said, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” When we embrace this, we enhance the gifts of another, build up the body of Christ, and give glory to God.
John may have been more skilled at running, but it’s what he did when he stopped running that is paramount—he waited in humility. John let Peter, the leader of the Twelve Apostles who Jesus had declared the rock upon which His Church would be built, enter the empty tomb first.
It was that action, not getting to the tomb first that made John the winner. And what was his reward? Something much better than a trophy that said “1st to the Tomb.” John received the gift of Faith. “Then, the other disciple who reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed” (John 20:8).
When you walk (or run) in faith with a humble heart, you too will experience the greatest reward. Like St. John, you will come to see and believe that you are the disciple Jesus loves. And, you are!
Kelly Wahlquist is a wife, mother of three, inspiring Catholic author and speaker residing in Minnesota. She is the founder of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization, Assistant Director for the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute, and contributing writer for Catholicmom.com. Her book Created to Relate: God’s Design for Peace & Joy encourages and inspires women to live fully their beautiful God-given gifts for building relationships. She is the creator and editor of Walk in Her Sandals: Experiencing Christ’s Passion through the Eyes of Women. Kelly travels the country speaking to all on topics that inspire us to live the New Evangelization, but has a special love for speaking at Catholic women’s events.