Posts tagged ‘Beloved’

“Make big things from small beginnings.”

First Read Titus.

Titus 1
Titus 2
Titus 3

 

The letter from Paul to Titus is very short and was written (around 66 AD) to a Church leader who did not become very famous. And yet a passage from this letter (Titus 2:11-14) is used every year at Christmas midnight Mass. Four little verses that are read at Mass begin with, “Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires” (The Lectionary, p. 106).

The Christmas story itself has other examples of God making big things from small beginnings. Mary is just a young girl – a teenager – and she becomes the mother of God. Bethlehem is a tiny town, not very well known for anything, and it becomes the birthplace of our Messiah.

God is very good at making surprising things happen from humble beginnings. So don’t ever doubt the importance of whatever you do for God. Even if you think it is small, God can make very big things come from it.

Second, take note of specific passages that Paul offers as advice to Titus.

Consider these themes:
1. What makes a worthy church leader? (Titus 1:5-9)
2. What tips are offered for living the Christian life? (Titus 2:1-8)
3. How can people, in general, be good in every way? (Titus 3:1-11)

Finally, write your own letter to a trusted friend. Modernize it. Make it real, convincing, believable for the 21st century.

Consider these themes:
1. What advice could be offered to a teenager looking at their personal future as an adult citizen (or a leader) in Canadian society?
2. What advice could be offered to a teenager struggling with peer pressure and social media or struggling with the temptation of drugs and alcohol?
3. What advice could you offer a teenager who struggles with relating to adults in authority: teachers, parents, police, politicians, TAs, … referees?

Format your letter using the same business letter guidelines you have mastered in ELA 9. Use your own address and the address of a friend in class, (or invent a realistic looking address).

When we get caught up in our own interests and concerns, we no longer have room in our hearts for others, no place for the poor. We forget the quiet joy of God’s love. – Pope Francis

Read Romans 12:15-16

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=402728180

Prayer
O beloved God, If I have closed my heart to you, please open it wide that I might reach out beyond my own interests and concerns to be aware of the needs of others, especially the poor. Your Son Jesus become one with all those who have little of this world’s goods, and he proclaimed your kingdom to them first of all. Make my heart like his, dear God.
Amen.

Practice
Today I will think about Pope Francis’ words and try to let them into my heart.

“Beloved, let us love one another.” 1John 4:7

  1. In what ways do I see my job or position as a call or invitation from God?
  2. Am I confusing my God given talents and gifts?
  3. Is my faith an inspiring gift to the students and my peers? My parish?
  4. Do you think we own our gifts?

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

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