Dear St. John family,

I know many of you are big fans of the TV series, “The Chosen”, which is all about the ministry of Jesus and His followers. If you have not started watching it, I highly recommend it! It has become a favorite of mine and something that I routinely liked to show my high schoolers at Youth Group because of how relatable the disciples and their conversations with Jesus are.

One particular conversation that the show explores is one between Jesus and Simon the Zealot. Scripture doesn’t delve too deep into how Christ asked His followers to follow Him other than a few stories, such as His miraculous encounter with Peter, Andrew, James, and John. The show uses its imagination to some degree in how Jesus would have pursued His other disciples, including in how He would have asked Simon the Zealot to join him.

The group of zealots back in Jesus’ time were a group that were extremely hostile to the Roman government that had been established. They sought to fight the Roman rule by inciting the people to riot and revolt against the Roman regime. Zealots were waiting for the Messiah to come and be their leader, charging them to ultimate victory.

In the show, The Chosen, it shows Jesus having a one on one conversation with Simon. Simon, who is skilled in fighting in combat and has weapons literally hiding up every sleeve, gives over all his tools to Jesus, thinking that this Messiah would show him even greater ways to fight and conquer. Instead, Jesus tosses Simon’s dagger in the river beside them.

While this scene made me chuckle out loud, the character Simon not only looks confused but a little annoyed. What do you need of me, he wonders, if not for my military skill and expertise?

And then Jesus replies with the most stunning of lines. “I have everything I need. I wanted you.”

When I heard this, I literally felt chills dance up and down my arms. It felt as if in this moment the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something too.

Many of you know that my husband and I recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Casey Rose, this past April. My day to day life has completely changed and been filled with diaper changes, feedings, and learning how to juggle the different routines and schedules. I must admit that I do have a tendency to feel like I have very little to give to Jesus these days, much less give Him what I believe He needs.

“I have everything I need. I wanted you.” Jesus wants to be with me during changing the hundredth diaper, the frequent middle of the night wakeups, and the multiple cups of coffee that I consume at the office. It’s not because He needs something from me. He just wants to be with me. And in this friendship, I realize that all that I truly need is Him.

The summer time is often a time of slowing down a bit; relaxing with family and friends and leaving behind our normal day-to-day schedules. Even in this time however, Jesus Himself desires to be with you. Both in the midst of your ordinary moments, that you might not think He has any need of as well as in the Eucharist, that He desires for us to receive each week.

He isn’t pursuing you because He “needs” something from you, as if it’s a task to be accomplished. He pursues you because he desires to be in a relationship with you. This is something I am continually finding hope and encouragement in.

To being with the Lord together,

Clare DeWitt

Coordinator of Youth Faith Formation