Homeless People
Homeless Pictures
Homeless People
Define Homeless
Homeless Statistics
Homeless News
Services Directory
Homeless Children
Rebeccas Community
Hospitality House
Street Outreach
School Retreats
Rebeccas Community

HomelessHomeless ForumsOur StoryContact Rebeccas Community
Homeless people share their life stories: Rebecca, Andrew, Elle, Melissa and sk8r rat.

Youth Ministry Resources - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year A: Matt 14:13-21 - Multiplication of the loaves and fishes - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The abundance of God's love is at the heart of this Eucharistic story. We hear of Jesus reaction to the death of his cousin John the Baptist where his desire for a lonely place of prayer with his disciples became a place bustling with many thousands of people who left their homes and villages to find Jesus. We hear that Jesus felt compassion for them and healed their sick. From the outset, God's love for all people is apparent.

It became obvious to the disciples that the people would need to be fed somehow and that telling them to leave seemed the best option. While the response of Jesus may seem short tempered "give them something to eat yourselves" it was more likely that Jesus was encouraging the disciples to show initiative and use the gifts they had to provide for the people.

However, when shown the available food, Jesus responds immediately with love and we hear the first key element of Eucharist named when Jesus blessed God and our minds immediately recall "blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer…" We then hear that Jesus broke the bread, again a Eucharistic element we know by heart "he broke the bread…" Finally we hear Jesus gave it to his disciples to distribute it among the crowd.

At the end of the meal, God's abundance is made obvious by the twelve baskets full that were gathered across the crowd. We hear echoes of God providing manna in the desert in this miracle story that is repeated in Matthew, twice in Mark and once in Luke and John. So this story is vital to the early communities and is a rich source of inspiration and commissioning for us today.

We are not meant to be passive after hearing God's word proclaimed during our Sunday Eucharist, we are meant to be transformed as we believe the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We too are transformed to be Christ in the world. We too are meant to "feed" those around us and to be the voice for the marginalised.

Recently we saw hundreds of thousands of people responding to the Live Aid movement's call to forgive debt in 3rd world countries and to support local village based initiatives to feed their people. While you and I might not see ourselves as the next Bob Geldoff, we are called to make a difference in our world. We are called to respond to world hunger, local hunger, local issues where God's abundant love is needed to transform what might appear as overwhelming as feeding the crowds who gathered by the lake. It can be done if we are open to God.

Cate Mapstone

Year C: Luke 12:13-21 - Parable of the rich farmer - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus speaks in a parable of a farmer whose main concern was growing as much grain as possible, then finding a bigger storage facility, before he can settle back and have a good time. Many of those listening to this story would have been working on the land and their first response was probably one of envy. Envy is an emotion that many of us have experienced and one that is exploited to the zenith degree by our society. Far too often we are judged by what we have, our possessions and our homes, rather than who we are as people.

It is interesting to note how selfish the farmer's perspective is as his focus remains on himself and by doing so, eliminates God and his neighbour. Jesus tells this parable to warn of the effects of greed and avarice. Greed is a problem that transcends millennia. Think about how many people fight over possessions, how many families have been split over inheritance and on a world scale, how many wars have been fought over their neighbour's wealth - today it is oil. There is something seductive about possessions; it is almost as if by owning something grand we can make up for the inadequacies we have in ourselves. Dignity has very little to do with $s or possessions. The media presents a constant barrage of what we need and how happy we will be as a result of buying whatever they are promoting this week. "See it, want it, buy it." Shop-acholics are a product of our time, it is called "retail therapy" and you are convinced that by spending what money you have will result in 'feeling better.'

The issue is not about having possessions or money. Both can be used for the betterment of society and can transform the lives of poor people. The issue is about how generous we are with what we have, whether that be a few possessions or an abundance. Are we generous people or do we watch every penny and delight in saving this or that bit of petrol money? Do we end up being the richest person in the graveyard? What are we taking with us from this world to the next? We don't have to be rich to be possessive and greedy. Our perspective as a disciple is to be focussed on God and our neighbour. We are called to have generous hearts. If we find ourselves attached to a particular possession, one thing we can do is lend it to someone! It might sound simple but it can break the mental grip that particular possession has on our mindset. Think about what you are possessive of and then consider how you can share it.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click the Pope for more Youth Ministry Resources.

Youth Ministry Resources 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time