Daily Reflection for Friday, July 03, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Ephesians 2: 19-22
Responsorial: Psalm 117: 1BC-2
Gospel: John 20: 24-29
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“do not be unbelieving but believe.” John 20:27B
Every August a new Sunday school year begins. As I look out to the 13 and 14-year-old students, my heart burns for them. They often look at me with a variety of expressions hard to interpret because they are silent. Perhaps they are held imprisoned by the quietness of their personalities. Maybe they are held silent because of the perceived ridicule that their peers might unleash if they did speak. Maybe they are silent because they have grown up with faith that has not been proclaimed in their own household.
Honestly, being a Sunday school teacher is one of the hardest “roles” I have ever undertaken. It is quite daunting and when I think of me, myself, and I, the I part of me would rather run for the hills! I am quiet by nature, which makes the task even more painful and difficult. I know that it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, that I can even begin. Not only must I get them talking about their faith, I must also evangelize them. I must plant seeds that move them from wherever they are in their belief forward.
A resource from the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis that was recently published on YouTube (see link below*) reports that “Armies of Young Catholics” are leaving the Catholic Church. Brandon Vogt reported in this video, “Most of the unaffiliated are young. Of the people who become unaffiliated, 80% leave before they are 23. The median age is 13.” There are many reasons why people leave the faith, so I leave it up to the Holy Spirit to guide my presentations.
The Holy Spirit has encouraged me to melt the crust by making my relationship with Jesus come to life and helping them make the connections in their lives in each lesson that I present. Some people, like Thomas, not only need to hear it but also experience it. In the Gospel today we read the story of Thomas. He was not present when Jesus appeared to the Apostles. When the Apostles told Thomas what he missed, he responded, “Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20: 25) Thomas needed to see to believe.
If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, cousin, or friend speak up, break the silence! Proclaim the name of Jesus! Tell your story to show them how your faith comes alive and help them see and believe!
Blessings for the journey!