By FATHER DAMIEN GIAP     6/7/2022

God has made  each and every one of us for greatness.

“For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance.”

God only makes masterful creations, and he bestows on each of us the gifts and abilities to do amazing things in His name.

“I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” Our God knows what we are capable of and he wants our very best!

On Friday, May 13, the students at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa participated in the school’s 4th Annual Spartan Run as a reward for excellence in fundraising to support the building of a dynamic new play area on the campus grounds. The new and exciting play equipment will challenge students to grow physically, just as the Spartan Run challenged the student body to confront such exciting obstacles as water traps, climbing feats and ever-popular mud crawls.

The Spartans were a people who accepted the challenges they faced with courage, determination and fortitude, not unlike our cardinal virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Fortitude, or courage, helps us to rise up to meet the tests and obstacles that our God places before us. These “challenges’’ help to build Catholic character in us, strengthen our faith and prepare us for the plan that He has for each of us throughout our lives. It’s all in good fun but there’s a valuable lesson somewhere in all that water, mud and sweat.

As the true “Father” of our lives, God is always challenging us to grow in our relationship with Him. He tests our obedience to Him and His word. He challenges us to grow in our integrity. He calls on us to love as His Son loves, with selfless devotion and sacrificial humility. He tests our character as he molds us through the events of each day. And finally, he challenges our faith to trust Him and His control of the world around us.

“Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.”

In short, God calls us to be Spartans of our faith!