“Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (Heb 12: 1-2)
We are invited to “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” because He is “the leader and perfecter of faith” and knows our destination. We have a race to run. In every run (like a marathon, for example), especially a long one (like life), we need to know where our destination is and how difficult the race could be, and we need perseverance. During a race (like a marathon), we can receive a lot of different kinds of help: nutrition, sponges with water to refresh us and probably the most important thing—pacemakers, runners who know the race and will bring us to the end at the right time. It is similar in our life: we have sacraments (i.e. the Eucharist), sponges (like confession) and the most important thing, the presence of Our Lord, “the Leader and Perfecter of faith”.
“Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed” (J 20:8).
The youngest, the most beloved, and so humble and respectful. He “had arrived at the tomb first”, but it was Peter who went into the tomb first. Love for Christ is love for the Church. Even if John was the most beloved, Peter was chosen to be the First Pope. Where true love is, there is also order.
It reminds me of an old, but not good, saying about the roles in the family: the husband is the head and the wife is the … neck, which turns the head in whichever direction she wants. This is not the theology of marriage and family. The true answer is: the husband is the head, but his wife is the heart. It is not an opposition – both are complementary. The head without a heart is not a good idea, but also the other way round. And this is my Church. All roles, all charismas, everybody needed. In the service to one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.
PS. Personally I like this fragment also for another reason. This is a very important proof that running is a part of being an apostle. “They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived… first” (J 20:4).
So, keep running. We need fast apostles. And remember, first doesn’t mean more important. Running is not only about the place you win at the end; more important is always love.
P.S. 2. Keep me in your prayer: 8th of February. My fifth marathon. 🙂
I keep thinking about the time it took Father Jarosław to prepare for the race, about the effort and the intention he carried and I remember that he an the previous one in the intention of families.
Such an effort is not just a drop but a lake in the sea of needs. Therefore I express my admiration and congratulate. This is a great testimony of overcoming weaknesses and dispiritedness. It is worth taking up such a fight with oneself ifor peace in Syria. But also so that we could be strengthened by God and get to know His mystery and love.
It is like Paul writes:
“I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. (Colossians 2:1-3)
Perhaps that would be the shortest summary and closest to the truth. This time it was really very hard. For everyone the temperature: 27 grades was hard to bear. The last 12 km were on an asphalt road and in full sunshine. Legs just wouldn’t run. The only thing left was the will to run till the end.
It was an extraordinary experience to meet those I met last year. During a marathon everyone runs at their own pace, so sometimes you catch up with someone, someone catches up with you, you run for a while together, then again apart and again together. I was impressed by the runners who were older than me, sometimes much older. I managed to catch up with some of them. For a while. .
This year I ran on my own. Nobody from our team could join me. I was all the more thankful to my sister Ania and my brother-in-law Paweł, who gave me moral support (and a drink) in the same spot as Jacek Kubrak did last year. And, what is more important, they ran a bit with me. And then they welcomed me at the stadium. Since I ran in the clerical collar, I was welcomed in Wolgasta as the priest-runner. Fortunately the end was in a good style – thanks to the magic of the stadium.
Thank you for your support. I finished the race only because of the intention of Pope Francis. Had it not been for it, I would have probably surrendered and walked until the end. I was also helped by Stas, who after his half-marathon ran in front of me and then till the end with me. Thanks to all of you who were sent by the Angels. See you at the next marathon!
With a thankful prayer
It’s today. From 10.30 am until… we’ll see.
Yesterday the priests participating in the training left to get on time to their parishes. They looked happy. I was very satisfied. It was a very good time and it looks promising for the future of the Programmes. You’ll probably meet some of them at the next Programme 1.
I had some time for myself to prepare for the marathon tomorrow. When I looked for an intention, I thought about the suggestion of Pope Francis I – for peace in Syria. It will certainly be a good opportunity to fast but also for a concrete effort. This marathon is good for it as it is a joint initiative of Poles and Germans – who used to be enemies but now are neighbours who get to know each other. We will run side by side, in the spirit of fair competition. Until the end you run the marathon as friends in a common effort and only at the very end there is fight for who comes first.
As always before a start (iit sounds so serious! But it’s the fourth one in my life) there are many fears: if I will manage, if I will come a bit more early than the last time, if I will have an injury, how I will feel during the last kilometres. This one is technically difficult – a lot of hills and uneven surface. I know I have been training as much as my crazy schedule allowed but I feel it has not been really sufficient. I have run for almost 520 km altogether , left for trainings about 60 times and spent almost 60 hours training. Is it much or little? In the rain, in the heat, in the cold. Usually early in the morning, on my own or in a bigger group. It is certainly a good training of persistence. Today I celebrate. I wanted to run in a group but they didn’t come, so I am alone. Well, not quite, I run always with my Guardian Angel. If your Angels wanted to join even for a few kilometres, it will be more fun.
See you after the marathon. Defeat or victory:)
Last year I wrote about one of the firms producing running shoes (my favourite one, by the way): “A good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run.”
For a week I’ve been training with Paul, the eldest son of Mrs and Mr Hilgers. We started the trainings in a calm pace, although at a fairly ambitious distance – 5 km. At the beginning we had the speed of 7.2 km/h. Today we’ve run over 6 km with the speed 9.2km/h (testing at the same time the new running shoes). Paul has had today also his first sprint uphill (more for the joy of running than for the needs of the training). And he calculated his strength in such a way that he had enough until the end.
It is such a joy to observe someone making his first steps on running routes. During the training we have time to explain the methods of building the condition, diversifying the training, specialist running and in general -to rejoice that we are active. Wise and experienced people say that only 2% of adults are able to run for 1 km. We are happy then that we are in the lead.
It’s difficult to think of a better preparation for the day than a run at dawn. In Omaha it is still almost winter time. There is no snow lying around but we still have it when it snows and days are cold. But for runners it’s even better.
From running routes in Omaha
They can change our lives so much and centre them around people and not about things to do.
Today, on a winter’s morning, I went for a run (and to think that in Poland it’s so warm and here I shiver from cold before I do the warm-up. It’s so unfair!). The rain changed smoothly into nagging hail and then into snow. But I didn’t wait for this last development. Beaten with hail, I had an additional motivation to come back home as soon as possible.
On the way I met some cars that waited to join the traffic. It is really so nice when you see the drivers pull back when they see you running so that you don’t have to change your route. It is a simple gesture but not seen for the first time and it is always so heart-warming. Someone has seen you and helped you as much as he could. And ten someone will hold the lift for you or bring you some water. Our life consists of so many small gestures. You can find so much kindness in them.
I send you greetings, full of kindness.
We are all thunderstruck with the news. Terrorism has never got this far. But maybe there is some logic in it. Hatred towards human being must reach also those areas where man is trying to challenge his weakness and find enough inner strength when all in his body and soul is crying for rest, for giving up. At the marathon finish line there are no losers, even if you failed to carry out your timing plan. My friend, a marathon runner, told me once: “there is no result, but no shame either” (he took part in this marathon too, and arrived at the finish 15 minutes before the explosions. Fortunately, he’s fine). Anyobody who reaches the end, carries to the finish line all the hours of training and the effort they cost. And that is a great value in itself: through training you’ve learned to be systematic, hardworking, you’ve deepened your sense of duty and got used to overcoming difficulties, obstacles, and pain…
I pray for those who lost their lives, and for those who are fighting for life in hospitals. I pray for marathon runners, because they inspire us to desire to be “better versions of oursevles”.
Tomorrow morning I’ll offer my running for them, adding the sweat of effort to the words of my prayer.
Praying for you, too
When I say “I am sorry’
and I do not have to prove that I was indeed in the right,
when I struggle with my limitations to love people just as they deserve it,
and when I accept my limitations where I can’t do anything about them,
– I am also a WINNER.
When in Florence I was boarding the plane to Frankfurt, I spotted a young and athletic dark-skinned guy. He walked, accompanied by two managers (?), slightly limping. We met again in Frankfurt, sitting next to each other’s tables in the restaurant zone where I was to wait for 5 hours for my connection to Warsaw.
I was wondering whether he’d won the marathon, so I just went towards him and asked (on the plane I saw the photo of the fastest few, neither of them was white). However, it turned out that he hadn’t because of the injury that had thwarted his plans of winning. He came… fourth. Time: 2:12. They asked about my time, too. ‘Almost 2 hours later, but 16 minutes before the last one’ , I said. And later, when the men left to catch their plane, I saw that one of them had left a charger cable. I chased off after them and caught the marathon runner. He thanked me whole-heartedly we shook our hand and said goodbye with a smile.
We, the marathon runners. may score different times at the finishing line but we all respect one another because each of us has to win over ourselves.
Thank you very much for all your kind words of support and congratulations. We’re all one in everything.
With my sincere prayers