"I am the way and the truth and the life"
St. Pius X high school students just finished their mission trip in Wichita, KS last weekend. Mission trips are tough! As one resident put it, "Why do you guys pay to work for me?" From waking up at 6am every morning after sleeping on air mattresses to hitting the bed late at night exhausted from a full day of prayer and work, mission trips do not always sound like an appealing summer experience. Yet year after year, students get excited to go on missions and come home rejuvenated from the experience. Why do they not always maintain this joy outside of mission work?
There are a few key elements on missions that seem to create this experience of joy for our high school students: prayer, work, community, and the lack of social media. If these four elements could permeate high school life more outside of mission trips, their daily satisfaction and joy would increase dramatically. Do we often see high school students in prayer outside of mass and routine prayers? Do we see them striving to work outside of just trying to fulfill service hours? Do they socialize with friends more than they spend time on Netflix and their phones? If we can give a firm yes to all of these questions, our high school students will shine with the same fire they experience on mission trips.