Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Confirmation I and II: June 20, 2010: The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 9:18-24

Confirmation I and II:
June 20, 2010: The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 9:18-24

Journal: How did you live out last week’s Gospel message? What was tough? What was rewarding?

Many years ago an NBA player angrily announced that basketball players aren’t paid to be role models, so young people should stop looking at them that way. The statement came because some parents were criticizing basketball players for acting immorally off the court.
The player was right. Don’t make an athlete your role model for life. Life is more than sports. But don’t let Jesus be just a role model either.
Yup, I said it. Don’t make Jesus just a role model. Role models are examples to follow. But they don’t necessarily help you follow those examples. That depends on your ability.
Jesus is more than a role model. Jesus is God. There’s a big difference. We want to follow Jesus’ example for living, but we can’t do it on our own. That’s what makes Jesus more than a role model. Because he is God, Jesus can send the world his Spirit. And we can follow his example only with the Spirit’s strength and guidance. Without the Spirit’s strength and guidance, we’re doomed to fail.
A lot of people give up on Christian living because they think it’s just too hard. Or they argue that Jesus’ message about forgiveness and peace is unrealistic. That might be because they see Jesus as just a role model—one of many lifestyle options. Maybe they don’t realize Jesus doesn’t expect us to follow his example using our strength alone. Maybe they don’t realize Jesus’ lifestyle seems more and more realistic the more you let the Spirit shape your vision and strengthen you through prayer.
So who do you say he is? Let him be more than your role model. Let Jesus be your God, your source of all life, strength, goodness, and hope. Let him help with every decision. Let him show you the way to go and help you get there. Let him inspire you, forgive you, heal you, and strengthen you. You can use his strength and vision every moment of every day. Ordinary role models can’t give you that!

Journal: Where in your life do you need Jesus’ strength most to live as a Christian? Reflect and give an example or two of a difficult time when you gave up in a situation that, in retrospect, you could have and should have called upon our Lord to help you through. How might it have changed the outcome? How might it have changed you? Be specific.

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