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Youth Ministry Resources - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B: John 1:35-42 - John’s disciples follow Jesus - 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today we hear of John the Baptist putting his own importance aside after “staring hard at Jesus” and proclaiming him to be “the Lamb of God”. This is one of many Messianic names and its importance was sufficient for the disciples of John the Baptist to follow Jesus and ask where he lived. Again it is helpful to understand that biblical translation often loses the full meaning of what was intended.

The Greek meneis means ‘remain’ and so their question does not relate to his house but to where he is centred as a person. When Jesus responds “come and see” it is an invitation to come into fuller knowledge of God and so it was not surprising that they chose to stay for a long time and then to return the next day. We hear that Andrew was so impressed by what he had learned that he brought his brother Simon to Jesus.

Imagine their joy when the disciples left Jesus and rushed home to tell Simon that they had found the Messiah, found someone that generations of Jews had been anticipating. Andrew’s faith would bring Simon, renamed by Jesus as “Cephas – meaning Rock” a man who was later given leadership of the Followers of the Way, the early Christian church. The faith of another begins Peter’s journey to discipleship.

This is a favourite passage for reflection on what is important in life, what we seek, what nourishes and provides a sense of satisfaction with the direction we are taking in our lives. It is worth putting some time aside this week to reflect on this passage and Jesus’ question “what do you want?” and his invitation to “come and see”.

It is very easy to fill our lives with various demands, work and relaxation but here we are invited to go and spend some time, to “remain” with Jesus and become confident in naming Jesus as “my Lord and my God”. Filled with this knowledge we can confidently invite “our brother and sister” to meet with God. We are called through our Baptism to be on mission, not necessarily in foreign lands, but mission right here in our homes, our workplaces, or recreation places.

There is no need for us to be able to quote encyclicals or Scripture passages, our mission is nourished by the way we live our lives, the way we treat other people. I frequently find that even the most fragile in our community are the ones who teach me about God.

Cate Mapstone

Year A: John 1:29-34 - John the Baptist points out Jesus as the Messiah

The Lectionary makes some interesting choices for us to listen to each week. We are currently in Year A and the Gospel read in Year A is that of Matthew and yet today we hear from John. There is a clear link however, between last Sunday's reading from Matthew on the baptism of Jesus and today's reading from John which recounts John the Baptist's witness of Jesus as the Lamb of God. So the Fathers of the Church who selected these readings are making a good point well by building on the baptism of Jesus and his Messianic role over two weeks. John the Baptist is very clear about his role, despite his numerous disciples and the influence he has over the people, John clearly states that he is not the Messiah but one who has come "to make straight the way of the Lord." John knew Jesus was "Chosen one of God," because he had seen God's Spirit rest on Jesus. This is one time that understanding a Greek word is helpful. The verb 'menein' is a word used only by John and it describes the permanent relationship between Father and Son and the Son and the believers. This is how God's Spirit 'rests/remains' on Jesus and is a phrase we are familiar with but one we could contemplate more than we have. The power of the Greek language is shown here when one word can cause so many sage heads to nod in understanding that Jesus provides us with some comprehension of the theology of Trinity. With every breath and every word uttered by Jesus we gain insights into God as Father and as Spirit. The other relationship flowing from 'menein' is how God's Spirit rests on us because we are in relationship with Jesus. Jesus is our brother through our Baptism in the Spirit, just as Jesus is God's son, you and I are God's sons and daughters and the Holy Spirit 'rests/remains' on us. For God's Spirit to remain with us we need to stop flapping our arms around while we tell God what we want and be a bit more respectful of what God is offering us. God is more than a giant wish list, God is giving us the opportunity to become more 'godlike' by forgiving our sins and giving us the strength to overcome our human frailty and become instruments of God's peace and goodwill. In this way, we help bring God into our world. In this way, we have the opportunity to hear God say "this is my beloved child."

Cate Mapstone

Year A: YOUTH ANGLE: This is the lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.

It's a phrase we hear and say often at mass, but do we think about what it means? A "lamb" was an animal that was sacrificed - killed to appease, or a sign of thanks to God. But the weird thing is that this is the lamb of God - not sacrificed to God but by God. I wonder if the lamb was killed to appease man or the world? And this sacrifice takes away the sin of the world. The idea of sacrifice is a bit uncool. The idea that you would give up something - something which means a lot to you, which hurts to give up - that you would give that up for the benefit for someone else! But our sacrifices can take away the "sins" - the pain and suffering of the world. There are volunteers right now in different parts of the world sacrificing their time, energy and salaries to reduce pain and suffering in the world. There are local people too in different parts of the world sacrificing their time, energies and money to save and to help others - to help rid the world of its pain and suffering. Imagine if we were all committed to this: making sacrifices to take away the pains of the world. Blessed are those who are called to this commitment.

Manuela Macri

Year C: Jn 2: 1-11 - The Miracle of wine and water - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

For three consecutive weeks we have been hearing how Jesus is named and adored as God's son. First it was the Magi, and then at Jesus' baptism God's voices describes Jesus as "my beloved son." Today Jesus' first miracle is performed at a wedding so that his disciples and the whole gathered community could experience the power and glory of Jesus, along with some very fine wine. Abundant wine is a biblical sign of restoration or of the 'eschaton' when God's kingdom comes. God is certainly making it clear to anyone who will listen that Jesus is God's son, and that God has chosen to become human to be with us. Mary reminds us of the value of persistence after apparent rejection. "Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not yet come." Mary confidently tells the stewards to "do what ever he tells you." Frequently we have experienced the power of persistent prayer and we also have enjoyed God's fine wine in our lives and so it becomes our responsibility to invite others to experience the abundance of God's love. This Good News is not something we keep buried, it is this Good News that will prompt us to build good relationships because we recognise Christ in the other person. We can't rely on a voice from heaven to point out that God is present in the people around us. We might not realise it but it is also through good relationships that we become an evangelising person.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Youth Ministry Resources 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time