Monday, January 24, 2011

Confirmation I and II: January 23, 2011: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Mt 4:12-23

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

(Mt 4:12-17)
What do you think went through Jesus’ mind when they arrested John? Remember that John and Jesus were close. Herod, who arrested John, was a cruel tyrant. Jesus must have realized John was facing torture and a brutal death. The Gospel makes it sound like Jesus withdrew for prayer and reflection. Did he reconsider dedicating his life to God? Did he need to grieve? Was he afraid? Did he consider seeking revenge? No one is sure why he withdrew, but it must have been a tough time for him.
The Gospel also says that John’s arrest marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. So he withdrew but then decided God was calling him to start his own ministry to replace John’s.
How do you deal with tragedy and loss? It seems that Jesus responded by starting his own ministry to announce God’s Reign of peace. Too often today it seems that people respond to tragedy with destructive options. Some lash out at others or use alcohol or other drugs or some other behavior to numb the pain. Some give up.
Follow Jesus’ example. God doesn’t bring tragedy into your life, but God certainly wants to help you deal with it or learn from it. Prayer and discussion with other Christians will help you hang in there during tough times or learn how to avoid them in the future. Write letters to God in a private journal. Learn to meditate. Like Jesus, you will find that wisdom or even a new direction for your life comes from a tragedy.
Here’s a good example. I know students whose family members have suffered some form of cancer. But they have let that tragedy motivate them to improve the lives of others. They are doing that by educating others about the different types of cancer and raising money to help find a cure. Like Jesus, they suffered painful tragedy, but they let the tragedy—with the help of God—guide them in acting to make the world a better place.

Journal: In what specific ways could teens let God help them through tragedy? Be specific. Do you know people who have responded to tragedy by using their experiences to help others? .

No comments:

Post a Comment