Seventh-grader Amy Zocchi of St. Peter School in Poughkeepsie is the winner of this year’s Catholic Education Night essay contest. The topic was, “How Can I Be a Witness for Christ When I Play Sports?” This is the second consecutive year Amy has won the contest. She will throw out the first pitch when the Hudson Valley Renegades play the Connecticut Tigers Tuesday, June 26, at 7:05 p.m., at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls.
Have you ever thought about what it means to be a witness to Jesus Christ? Some ways to be a witness of Jesus Christ include being kind to others, continuing Jesus’ work for justice and peace, and by showing compassion towards all people. You can do this in your neighborhood, parish community and even school community. But what about through sports? To some people, it may sound nearly impossible to be a witness to Jesus through sports. To a true witness of Jesus Christ, nothing is impossible.
As a true witness of Jesus Christ, it is very important to me that I show my love for Christ through everything I do, including sports. As a competitive dancer, it is sometimes hard for me to show that I am a true witness to Jesus Christ. This past season, none of my dances placed in the overalls. From the dancer’s point of view, it was very disappointing not to see my group standing up in front of the crowd. But that never stopped me from showing my love for Christ. Instead of being negative towards those who beat me, I congratulated them and told the other dancers that they were great. I even hugged some of the people who beat me. By doing this, I am showing that I am a witness to Christ by treating others the way I want to be treated. I am also showing that I am a witness to Christ by being kind to others. See, it isn’t that hard to be a witness to Christ through sports.
There are many more ways to be a witness to Jesus Christ through sports. Take gym class, for example. In a competitive class, disagreements and quarrels are not uncommon. These disagreements can be over the littlest things, including whether the ball was fair or foul. It may seem hard to be a witness to Christ when there is a quarrel going on. In a conflict, I show that I am a witness to Christ by trying to end the dispute. Though I may not be enthusiastic about what my friends are disagreeing about, it is always important to restore peace in any situation. By breaking up the conflict, I am being a witness to Christ by restoring peace in a community. By restoring peace, I am continuing Christ’s work for justice and peace.
If you are not part of a dance team or a gym class, you can still be a witness to Jesus Christ through recreational sports. It is not hard to say congratulations to someone who did better than you. It is also not hard to encourage others to keep trying. At the park, when I play tennis with my mom and sister, my sister sometimes wants to stop playing. I encourage her to keep going so that we can keep the fun going. I also encourage her to keep playing when she wants to quit playing badminton in our yard. Continuing to be a witness to Christ can also mean continuing the fun. In recreational sports, I am a witness to Christ be encouraging others to keep going. By encouraging others, I am showing my support towards others as Jesus himself would do.
As you can see, being to a witness to Christ through sports is far from impossible. It may be hard to be a witness to Christ in some situations, but it is not impossible. Saying a simple congratulations or by restoring peace where there is a disagreement shows that I am a witness to Christ through sports. How do you show that you are a witness to Christ through sports?