I got verbally taken to the cleaners today by a very dear, bright, and honest friend.
She looked at the YouTube Presentation below. There I am all regaled in my Advent Finery-- White alb symbolizing the one set aside to support people, during worship in meeting God; purple stole symbolizing that this worship time (and this Advent Season) is a time for thoughtful consideration of one's weaknesses and strengths as we choose to behave with family members, friends, associates, and strangers.
My friend, who is a few years older than I and very, very wise, said that my message did not meet the needs nor interests of young people today and that they did not reflect the conversations we had had over the last three years. Well, I did not argue with her. I took what she said to heart and, at this point, am more than willing to admit that my thinking and acting are shaped by the needs of the moments.
And when I wrote what I presented in the moment I was trying to recall my experience of teenage and young adult life and frame my thoughts in such a way that they would be relevant and interesting to young people today.
Did I succeed or fail? I do not know. And I am not looking for any reader of this blog to console or affirm me. I offer this blog as my effort to communicate my feeling and thinking about being a human being who is trying to understand what it means to be a human being who chooses to support other human beings.
Here are the questions the young people who participated in the worship service were asked to consider individually and prayerfully? I hope you find them interesting and helpful.
. Have i been responsible for division, anguish, pain, or rejection in my own family?
. In my relationships with others, have I used people selfishly-parents, brothers or sisters, friends, classmates, teachers, teammates, administrators, coaches?
. Have I contributed to the well being and happiness of the members of my family, my friends, of those with whom I work, study or play; do I put my needs and my wishes before all else?
. Have I been honest in my relatinships and in my responsiblities? Are lying and dishonesty all too frequent in my life?
. Have I offeredmy time, talents, and resources, to help those most in need -- the poor, the home-less, the marginalized, the lonely, the suffering - here at Bellarmine as well as those where I live?
. Have I taken responsibiity for my own growth in my relationship with Christ given the oportunities I have been provided both at home and at Bellarmine?
. Do I place God first in my life or do I set myself on the idols of money, power, and prestige?
. Do I make time for God through daily reflection, weekly mass, Sunday worship, and prayer?
. Do I let the message of Jesus in the Gospel to challenge the attitudes and values that rule my life?
. Is my faith in God just a habit that I don't think about?
. Have I taken responsibity for doing my part to work for the transformation of my life, my family, my school, and the world, on behalf of the Kingdom of God?
Here is my reflection on the purpose and possibility of choosing to live for and in a forgiving community. I hope you find my reflection helpful.