Reflections extracts from Family and Youth Thoughts for June

June 28th. Sacred Heart.  Georgie was quite sentimental for a boy, which did worry his mother sometimes. In his room he had a big picture of the Sacred Heart and had written below it. “Hearts talk to me about love.” He told his mom, “I’ve always loved the Sacred Heart. Ever since you joined the Sacred Heart sodality I have thought about Jesus in that way. I think I prefer it to the Divine Mercy image.”

I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep.  I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled and I will strengthen the weak and the fat and the strong I will watch over, I will feed them in justice.  Ezek 34:11-16

Pope Francis:. Young people, beloved of the Lord, how valuable must you be, if you were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ! Dear young people, you are priceless! You are not up for sale! Please, do not let yourself be bought. Do not let yourself be seduced. Do not let yourself be enslaved by forms of ideological colonization that put ideas in your heads, with the result that you end up becoming slaves, addicts, failures in life. 123. Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified. And when you go to confess your sins, believe firmly in his mercy which frees you of your guilt. Contemplate his blood poured out with such great love and let yourself be cleansed by it. In this way, you can be reborn ever anew. CV122

June 29th. St Peter and Paul.  Every family has probably discovered for themselves how each of their children is different almost from the start. They have different abilities, interests, talents, personalities and will end up each with their own calling.   Is it really good enough to drift through life aimlessly as so many unemployed youth are almost forced to do?  But shouldn’t everyone be open to what possibilities might exist, beginning with their education?

By your providence the blessed apostles Peter and Paul bring us joy. Peter foremost in confessing the faith, Paul its outstanding preacher, Peter who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel, Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call.  From the Preface of the Mass.    

Pope Francis: When we discover that God is calling us to something, that this or that is what we were made for – whether it be nursing, carpentry, communication, engineering, teaching, art or any other kind of work – then we will be able to summon up our best capacities for sacrifice, generosity and dedication. We don’t do things just for the sake of doing them, but rather we give them meaning, as a response to a call that resounds in the depth of our being to offer something to others. That is what makes any occupation bring us a sense of deep fulfilment. CV273.

June 30th. Sunday 13C. SACBC Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees.  Fr Oliver spoke to the youth directly.  We are coming to the end of Youth month. What have you experienced and what have you learned?   Did you hear Jesus speaking to you?  ‘Everyone in life has a vocation, a calling. I have given them a task.  Young people setting out on their journey have to discern their own vocation and respond when they hear my call.”   Fr Oliver continued, “there are questions to consider along the way.  Pope Francis suggests that the questions should be centred less on yourselves and your own inclinations, but on others, so that your discernment leads you to see life in relation to their lives. Pope Francis writes, “So often in life, we waste time asking ourselves, ‘Who am I?’ You can keep asking, ‘Who am I?’ for the rest of your lives. But the real question is: ‘For whom am I?  Who do I belong to?’ Of course, you are for God. But he has decided that you should also be for others, and he has given you many qualities, inclinations, gifts and charisms that are not for you, but to share with those around you!

Appropriately on this day to focus on migrants and those of them who are refugees Pope Francis challenges us all, “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age. (Mt 25:35, 43).”        For more on this Day of Prayer visit www.sacbc.org.za http://www.sacbc.org.za

Sunday reading: When the days drew near for Jesus to go to his destiny he set out with his disciples to go to Jerusalem. On the way he called on men to follow him, but they made excuses. So Jesus said, No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.   Luke 9:51-62

Pope Francis to conclude this message to Youth and the entire people of God:   A wish! Dear young people, my joyful hope is to see you keep running the race before you, outstripping all those who are slow or fearful. Keep running, “attracted by the face of Christ, whom we love so much, whom we adore in the Holy Eucharist and recognize in the flesh of our suffering brothers and sisters. May the Holy Spirit urge you on as you run this race. The Church needs your energy, your intuitions, your faith. We need them! And when you arrive where we have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us. Amen          The June reflection quotations are Taken from Christus Vivit  CV299. the Apostolic Exhortation to the Youth.  

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