Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bringing Media and Evangelization to Disconnected Teens

Just got home from another session with the Confirmandi. Brought along the computer and projector - and after we reviewed last week's lesson about being called by name at baptism and gifted by the Holy Spirit - and loved as unique individual, I showed them one of my favorite short movies:  "Validation"- to help them see that each one of them can make a difference.... and that how we treat one another is important. It's part of their mission to spread the love of God, etc.

By the end, they were all smiling... I think they got it. The discussion was brief, but there was general agreement.

I then moved to the final piece in my plan to help them understand exactly why they are preparing for Confirmation: learning that the purpose of the Sacraments of Initiation is to bring them to the table of the Eucharist for the rest of their lives.  I next showed them a very brief PowerPoint outlining some of the reasons we go to Mass:
  • To celebrate the love of God as the Body of Christ – the community singing and praying as one voice
  • To hear the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts
  • To celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus – his pouring out of his life on the Cross
  • To offer our lives as part of the sacrifice
  • To share the meal at the table of the Lord
  • To become more like Jesus by receiving Eucharist
I then asked how many go to Mass regularly, and how many have not been in a while. Fewer than hald indicated they regularly attend Mass.  I assured them that I expected this would be true - and that for some of them, it is certainly due to their parents not driving them to church.  However, I told them, each of them is an important member of the Body of Christ and that when they are not at Mass, a piece is missing from the Body.

Remembering what I had been told about Hispanics connecting more deeply with the crucified Christ, I invited them to begin to have a devotion to the Eucharist, using the words of Mother Teresa:  "When you look at a crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now."  Smiles of understanding. (Thanks for the tip, Javier!)

We talked a bit about Eucharist being really Jesus... but that was a teaser for next week. Lastly, I showed them a picture of the Communion of Saints and  of the Pope at World Youth Day - one with the banners of many nations flying - and explained that Eucharist unites us across time and space to all people, living and dead. They seemed to think that is cool.

For all these reasons I them to asked them to think about going to Mass - to consider it... and promised we would talk more next week about the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I certainly hope they will.

This year is going to be a journey - for all of us!

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