Animate Youth Ministries: March 2019

Lent is a time for reflection ...

Sunday 10 March – Luke 4:1-13 
Temptation is something which has plagued humanity since the Garden of Eden; something which every person on the planet has experienced at some point. Whether that’s sneaking into the kitchen to steal biscuits as a young child or ‘treating yourself’ to a pint during dry January. The consequences of these decisions aren’t always devastating but, as we begin our Lenten journey this Sunday, we need to realise that temptation often leads to disobedience to God. Let us use this time leading up to Easter to truly mirror Jesus’s suffering in the desert by choosing to go without the things whose absence could challenge us. Bask in the feeling of temptation, knowing that when Easter comes, the celebration will be that much sweeter! 

Sunday 17 March – Luke 9:28-36 
This week’s Gospel reading should inspire each of us to seek something higher in our times of prayer; something more meaningful and powerful than merely speaking words thoughtlessly. The divine encounter Jesus experiences in this passage of scripture is not just limited to Him. Each of us can feel the same closeness, the same true encounter with God by simply seeking it out during times of prayer. Let us pray deeply this week in the knowledge that the Lord will make His will known through us.
 
Sunday 24 March – Luke 13:1-9 
We hear this Sunday of the merciful patience which our God grants to us. However, it’s not all good news, for the sense of urgency in which the parable is told sends a very clear message: God's patience will run out! We must repent, change our behaviour and bear plenty of fruit in order to please God. Lent is a time in which we reflect especially on our wrongdoings and apologise for them; this week, in particular, presents the perfect opportunity to seek out the sacrament of confession. Meditate on the choices you’ve made recently, the people you may have hurt, the cruel words you may have spoken and leap at the chance of forgiveness. Once these things are off your chest, you can begin the part of repentance in which you start implementing positive changes in your life.  

Sunday 31 March – Luke 15: 11-32 
The story of the prodigal son is one of the most well-known parables that the Bible has to offer; probably down to the fact that it’s so easy to relate to each character in the story. We’ve all felt betrayed like the father, felt unrecognised or taken for granted like the eldest son and, finally, felt ashamed after making reckless decisions like the youngest son. But in among the negative emotions of this parable, there is an overriding positive message – the message of God’s unconditional love for us as His children. His love and forgiveness don’t come with any terms and conditions, they don’t require bargaining, nor do they run out or turn into resentment. Let us remind ourselves of the example we are set by this story, regardless of the familiarity of the words or the amount of times we may have heard it. The message is relevant each time: love others as the Father loves you.