Homily for Mass with the Holy Name of Jesus Life Teen Core Team on Saturday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
This morning, I would like to dive more deeply into one line from our Gospel. It was also the verse for the Gospel Canticle. It says this: “Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.”
Last night as I was preparing for Mass today, I read that line and immediately thought about the current season the world finds itself in. Think about all we’ve experienced over the last six months. The churches have been closed, very little in-person ministry has been happening, and many of us are worried about whether or not our people are going to come back to Mass, back to the Sacraments, back to ministry events. And the temptation is for us to get caught up in that fear. Is it a legitimate thing to be concerned about? Absolutely. But we can’t get stuck in the concern. Instead, we have to, together with the Holy Spirit, come up with ways to stay engaged with our parishioners. And, you know, praise God, I think we have done just that, especially with our Life Teen ministry. We are continuing to push forward and trying to develop ways to engage our teens and encourage them to stay connected and to stay involved.
All of us here know the incredible gift that our youth ministry has been to our parish. We wouldn’t be here if that weren’t the case. Because, in our experiences here at HNJ, we have had an encounter with the Lord through Life Teen. We have heard the Word of God proclaimed to us, we have been brought closer to Christ, and we have now responded to that Word with generous hearts. You all are examples of that generosity. As the Core Team, you are now sharing that same gift you received through Life Teen with those who have come after you. And, because you have been generous with your hearts and have done your part to ensure that our teens are still focusing on prayer, on studying Scripture, on staying connected, I think that will bear incredible fruit. I mean, it already has in a way.
We had 31 teens here for Life Night on Sunday! That’s something to be thankful for. But the perseverance must continue. We have to keep pushing forward and we need you to help us with that. So may this be an encouragement for all of us today. The Lord is with us and He will continue to guide us into the uncertainty of the next few months. That’s what today is all about. Let’s continue praying for each other and for our teens, that the Lord will continue moving in each of our hearts.