Jesus said, Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’ (Matt 18:19-20)
The emphasis in this passage is on community. When we are focussed on our personal needs, it is easy to be selfish. There is no guarantee that communities ‘get it right’ – but if our focus is on following Jesus, we are more likely to be true to the Gospel. When we follow Jesus we lead a life of service, a life of self-giving love, a life of care for those in need. As positive as it sounds, leading such a life requires support. Thus the supportive presence of Jesus is crucial.
As we begin another school year, may we make opportunities for prayer for ourselves and the young people in our care – so that the focus of our lives is on being authentic disciples of Jesus. As much as we are authentic disciples ourselves, leading lives of service, love and compassion, we also guide our young people on a similar path – with Jesus to accompany them.
Have a great week, term and year!
It’s a couple of weeks before school returns but I was visiting my brother Stephen recently and he shared the prayers below which he had written. I hope you appreciate them, too
Pray for an open mind:
Lord let me be open to Your will
Allow me the grace to embrace flexible thinking, improving my perspective by acknowledging others’ truth and love.
Let my mind seek out and appreciate the truth in the world.
God help me to be humble
To accept my limitations and admit my mistakes
To never fear asking for help
To be generous with praise and sparing with criticism
To relinquish my urge to complain and
To contain my desire to control.
Lord, help me to accept the best and the worst of me,
The unique and the mundane:
Not to think less of myself
But to think of myself less
Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.” He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” ’ (Luke 16:29-31)
It is so easy to be stuck in our certainties – we know things, we know people, we ‘know the score’. When, in reality, there are other factors at work to which we are closed. So how do we ‘see’ them? One way is by taking time to reflect on life – to pray that God might open our eyes. It is the eyes of faith that will show us the way.
We can all be ‘blind’ from time to time. By guiding our young people towards opportunities for prayer and reflection, we give them a great gift. We give them a mechanism to see themselves and the world truly. This can be a discipline that helps them to live the Gospel each day.
Have a great week!
“This is my son, my chosen. Listen to him!” (Luke 9:35)
These words from the Father to the apostles after the Transfiguration are also addressed to all who wish to follow Jesus. Modern day life is lived at a hectic pace. It is easy to be carried along and not give myself time to reflect on my life. How do I ensure that I have time to listen to Jesus and what he is saying to me about my life? Over the centuries, the Church has established many helpful ways to help this reflection. A modern variant is the website Sacred Space.
It is our responsibility to guide the young people in our care towards opportunities to hear Jesus. Do I share an aspect of my faith life with them? Do I give them opportunities to hear God’s word? Opportunities to reflect and pray? Are there new opportunities that we might provide our young people to listen to Jesus and try to live as a disciple?
Have a great week!