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Like much of life, I’ve gained wisdom from experience and a lot of practice. An example of this is what is called an “assist.” Many sports use this term. I will give an example from my basketball years.
I remember maneuvering through the crowd of players under the basket and having the ball passed perfectly into my waiting hands for an easily executed layup. I was marked down for the goal, and the passer received credit for passing me the ball that made the shot. My point is that the player who assisted me was noted.

The smooth play of the shot being made was the result of the unity of players and the authenticity of each one knowing their set of skills. Instincts of the court are honed in practice and the beauty of being in the right place at the right time for the right pass and the right shot shows how practice pays off. When a team reaches this level of play and it’s persistent for the length of the game, it becomes almost a magical thing for the spectators.

It's when I know who I am and I know my skills, that I am able to help you bring your skills into the game. I bring out your best talents and you assist mine. Think of the passing game. In order for a good passer to become great, someone has to show up to catch the pass, over and over again. So, the skill of catching must also be perfected. I must keep in mind the whole kinesthetic sense of knowing where I am at all times, my arms, hands, and body… Couple that with where the opponent is and where the ball is at all times. Only in the effort of putting all these things together in a calculated formula of motion, will the result be points added to the scoreboard.

Passing over is another idea that is used a lot in team play. If a bad move is made, you have to keep playing and “pass over’ the mistake made by yourself or by your teammate. You’ve got to quickly refocus and get on with the game at hand. From that moment, you’ve got to keep putting in your best effort. Let it go and press on!

Here is an application to the Spiritual life from the world of sports: Mess up, Trip up, Get up, Mend up. Play more, and you’ll play stronger, pray more and you’ll pray stronger. We need to assist each other in practicing the Faith. Assist one another in growing in virtue and holiness. Spur one another on in prayer and in sharing our faith. The Letter to the Hebrews says it well, “stir up one another…”  (cf Heb 10:24).

Over the years I’ve had some great fun in belonging to many teams. I’ve met many people and made many friends. It’s an important thing to belong to something, and teams can assist us in that. Maybe now I would say that the greatest and most important team I belong to is God’s team. In a way, I think that team is just another way of saying community. Or maybe this thought is better: a team is for the moment, but a community is forever.

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Comments from readers

Yadira Rueda Camacho - 04/05/2024 02:07 PM
Sister Irene! Happy Easter to you and the dearly Family of Daughters of St. Paul! What analogy you made and beautiful written about our relationship with the Lord, the unity as a team, and belonging to his kingdom now in the present time using our talents and share with others as we all form the body of Christ! Blessings, Yadira
Yansseli Meoqui - 04/04/2024 09:56 AM
Lovely analogy! Thank you Sister Irene Regina! My son is in a basketball league and a wonderful player yet he struggles in other areas of his life. I will share this wonderful article with him as I know he needs the inspiration. God bless :)

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