Monday, July 5, 2010

Confirmation I and II:

July 4, 2010: The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 10:1-12, 17-20

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

I did my undergraduate work at the University of San Francisco. In my junior and senior years, I was privileged to work with a youth group at St. Ignatius College Preparatory (a high school). It was an experience that helped to spirit my love in working with teenagers and I have maintained long-distance friendships with a few of them over the years. They are all professional people today, married with children. I specifically remember four of these teenagers that I met in my first year with them. I remember that their faces lit up. They hadn’t realized the difference they would make. After all, they were just four teens.
They believed in peace. So they decided to start a youth retreat to teach how Christians can fight racial prejudice. They opened their retreat up to several public and private high schools throughout the city.
The four teens glowed with confidence after the leaders they helped choose for the retreat ended a day of training. They looked on as their Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian and African-American teen leaders shook hands and committed to join them in their peace project.
“The Lord appointed seventy-two others” to “cure the sick” and announce that “the kingdom of God is hand.”
The Gospel tells the story that’s over two thousand years old but also brand new. These four peace-building teens heard Jesus’ instructions as clearly as the first disciples. Like them, they went forward on faith. They didn’t know if other teens would welcome their ideas or make fun of them. Like the first disciples, the four teens also cured sickness by helping other teens take a stand against prejudice. And like the first disciples, they were amazed at the power Jesus gave them.
Did you know Jesus has appointed you too? Many teens doubt themselves. Some look in the mirror and think they can’t make a difference. I think those first disciples thought the same thing. Remember, they were ordinary people. Most were probably poor and uneducated. They probably felt powerless too, until Jesus came into their lives. Then they changed the world. But the job’s not done. Just look around your school and you’ll see plenty of sickness. Will you go when he sends you?

Journal: What sickness/sicknesses in the world (in your family, school, neighborhood or larger community) should you, or do you, help cure? How does this sickness/sicknesses stand in the way of building God’s kingdom? Be specific.

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