Thursday, October 21, 2010

Amazing young people

In today’s Gospel (Thursday), Jesus says “I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49) This morning, during my meditation, I realized that last night I witnessed one of those fires that was set by our Lord. I would even dare to say it’s blazing. Some of us went to Incarnate Word ( parish last night to go to one of their Wednesday prayer nights. What an amazing and beautiful evening we had. The young people of that parish gave me so much hope, encouragement, and courage to live out my faith better. Every Wednesday evening between 50-100 high school students come voluntarily to this parish to praise God. The evening began with some praise and worship music led by Adam Bitter ( Yesterday, our very own Postulant, Erin, played her viola along with Adam. After several songs, one of the teens, Nick, gave a talk about not being complacent in our faith. He reminded us how easy it is to slip into bad habits in our prayer life and that over time these lead us farther and farther away from God. Following Nick’s talk, the Youth Minister Dan also gave a short talk that tied in some of the themes Nick brought up. At the end of his talk, Dan invited the teens to really think about the times that their prayer life was strong and what it was they were doing that made it so strong. One by one, they spontaneously began to share their own experiences with the whole group – very practical things they had done to make God a part of their day. I was amazed at their openness and the freedom with which they shared their experiences with their peers. There was definitely an atmosphere of trust and love for one another in the room. They all gave me some great ideas that I can use myself. One of the youths mentioned that reading a little bit of the Bible every day has really helped her, that she realized that Jesus is present not just in the Eucharist, but also in the Word. And so when she prays with the Scriptures, Christ is really present to her - even in her room. After the sharing, Adam and Erin led us in some more songs praising God. Many of the teens were down on their knees before a large cross praying to Jesus. As they felt called by the Holy Spirit, some of their peers would go over and pray with them. It was really beautiful to see them ministering to and praying for each other. I’m so thankful I decided to go last night. They were such a wonderful witness to me. It brings me great joy and hope to see the flames of faith so alive in those young men and women who are ready to set their world ablaze with the love of God.


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