Saturday, August 7, 2010

Confirmation I and II: August 1, 2010: The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 12:32-48

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

Many years ago, in a Confirmation class, a teenager asked about “the end of the world” and how some Christians were convinced that the end was coming soon. The discussion centered on concerns about who Jesus would take with him, would they not be chosen to go with our Lord. A few of them were even worried about it. That saddened me.
There’s a lot of talk out there, all the time, about the world’s end. Some Christian books predict exactly how and when it will happen. Some people even use fear about the world’s end and God’s judgment to motivate people to follow Jesus.
Luke wrote this week’s Gospel for early Christians who expected Jesus to return fairly soon. He urges Christians to be prepared, but he is also skeptical of people who claim to know when or how he’s coming.
That’s good advice for us. We don’t know how the world will end. People who claim to find details about it in the Scriptures usually are misreading the Bible. We need to steer clear of people who use fear tactics to spread the Gospel. Our God motivates through love, not fear, always reminding us that we’re loved despite our sins. So don’t worry about whether the world might end before you’re “good enough” in God’s eyes.
It’s our job to wait, not worry. We wait by praying and worshiping. We wait by doing our best and acknowledging our sins. We wait by serving the poor. We wait by opening up to Christians we trust. When you wait in these ways, you’ll be surprised. Suddenly you’ll realize God’s grace and peace is with you—and that our Lord has arrived!

Journal: Can you remember a time when you were suddenly surprised because you actually felt like God was present with you? What was the situation? Be specific.

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