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Youth Ministry Resources - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B: Mark 1:14-20 - Jesus calls his disciples - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

We hear from Mark's Gospel today and will continue to do so throughout Year B. The Good News according to Mark is the oldest and shortest Gospel written in the 70s AD. The writings of Paul were completed close to twenty years earlier than this Gospel and remain so significant to our Liturgy of the Word that we hear from Paul each week.

Sadly we hear that John the Baptist has been handed over to Herod and so Jesus is the one to build on John's ministry to proclaim the euangelion a Greek word meaning Good News or gospel. This Good News came from God and has God's action in its content. The failure of Israel's monarchy prompted the people to look to the future, to a time when a king or Messiah who was totally faithful to God would establish God's kingdom.

Jesus tells anyone who has ears that the time kairos has arrived. Unlike the Greek chronos meaning chronological time, kairos means God's time has come and because we live in chronological time we can think that God's time has surely come and gone but that is not the case. Mark specifically chooses kairos so that we understand the importance of the claim by Jesus "the time has come".

The Good News proclaimed by Jesus would defeat Satan's rule and people would then be open to the new understanding of God that Jesus was preaching. Jesus repeats John's call of repentance, metanoia meaning to change direction, a change of heart of mind of understanding.

The preaching of Jesus must have been very powerful and his charisma another Greek word meaning 'gift of the Spirit' indicating that Jesus was filled with God's Spirit so much so that we hear of people ready to accept his invitation to follow him. There are two sets of brothers who owned nets and employed people and worked with their father and yet no further preparation was needed for them to walk away from their thriving and secure business to follow Jesus.

Each of us has been called by Jesus "I have called you by name, you are mine…you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you" (Is 43) called and loved so much that we too must walk away from less important things to be a follower of Jesus. Today we are called to repent and live out a particular lifestyle. Being in church with fellow disciples is important but it also means that between masses we are called to be different as a result of being in communion with God. We are called to see Christ in each person we encounter, we are called to be people of peace.

Cate Mapstone

Year A: Matthew 4:12-23 - The call of the disciples - 3rd Sunday in ordinary time

John the Baptist who has been a central figure over the past two weeks has been 'handed over' and so now is the time for the ministry of Jesus to flourish. Matthew goes to great lengths to describe the area where Jesus begins his ministry. This part of Israel had fallen to the Assyrians in 734BC and since that time, the Israelites had eked out a precarious life with often aggressive Gentile neighbours and so they 'lived in the shadow of darkness.' Matthew shows frequently that Jesus is the fulfilment of Scripture and so Jesus comes as 'light from light' the one who can dispel the darkness of sin and fear. The message of Jesus is to 'repent!' reform your lives, move out of the darkness into God's light because the Reign of God is coming. This geographical area also has a number of Gentiles living among the Jews and Matthew is referring to the darkness of their minds because they are unaware of the light God is offering to them.

Matthew frequently states "it is written…this is to fulfil Scripture" because he wants to show that since the beginning of time God has been a God of revelation, a God who shares with humanity God's vision for the forthcoming Kingdom or Reign of God. Matthew suggests that God's entire history of self-revelation comes to completion in Jesus. More than fulfilling particular passages, Jesus fulfils Scripture in its entirety. The proclamation and central message of Jesus of the near arrival of the Kingdom of God, along with the resurrection is the basic and object of Christian hope. This is what the fishermen would have heard when they met Jesus by the Sea of Galilee and the strength of this message caused them to "leave their nets immediately."

This prompt obedience and the importance of the message is what we are offered today. Just because we can turn a light on at anytime does not mean that we are not living in darkness. Our world is overflowing with issues that cloud out God's light. Today more than ever we need to 'leave our nets' or whatever it is that fills our lives to the extent that God is blocked out or limited to a convenient time/place. Through our baptism we are anointed 'prophet' and hence 'called' to bring the light of God's love to all we encounter.

Cate Mapstone

YOUTH ANGLE: The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light.

Darkness. Some people are afraid of it. Some people feel alone in it. Others are at home in it, or at peace in it. It gives cover to thieves. It gives rest to our eyes. It prevents us from seeing. It heightens other senses. It is not a right or a wrong, but we have to admit, living in it constantly would be a problem. We have symbolic darkness in our lives too. At times we feel like we can't see where we are going with things. In the darkness we can bump into things - hurt others and ourselves. Or if we can't see beautiful things or others - even if they are there - we can feel sad and alone. These things happen. We need to have some darkness. It's part of being human. But not live in it forever. Because plants die in complete darkness. And so would we. We need light to live. Which is why the people living in darkness who see a great light should be so pleased about it. Why was Jesus a light? Because he offered another way to live. A way that said love first, other things later. Instead of things first, or me first, or you first.

Manuela Macri

Year C: 1 Cor 12:12-30 - Gifts of the Spirit - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Paul of Tarsus was a well-educated Pharisee and had sat at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 5:34) the greatest teacher of the time. Paul or Saul as he was then, was taught the Law very carefully and had been examined by Gamaliel. After his Damascus experience, Paul did not cast away all that he had been taught as a Pharisee, he used those disciplines to interpret his experience of Jesus and all that he was told that Jesus taught. Paul was also a prolific writer and for this we can be thankful. Paul's letters to his various communities are the earliest writings to be included in the Christian Scriptures. Some of Paul's letters are very theological as he worked to interpret the emerging Church. Today's reading from Paul's letter to the community in Corinth continues on from last week's reading. Some people in the community were starting to think that they were better than others. Paul rarely minces his words and makes it very clear that one one part of the Body of Christ is better than the other because here is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, buit always to the same Lord." Whatever talents we might have are all gifts from God so no one is better than the other. All of our gifts are to be used to bring glory to God through service in the community. Some people in this community have been giving generously of their gifts for decades and continue to give through encouragement and kind words. Our parish is the Body of Christ and will only be strong when all parts of the body contribute their gifts to make this Body strong and vigorous.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Youth Ministry Resources 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time