Resources

Food for the Soul: What Are You Looking For?

Peter Clem No Comments

Last Thursday night, Fr. Jack posed Jesus’ question to us: “What are you looking for?” He talked about prayer, encounter with the Lord, and how we are to go out and evangelize based on our relationship with Jesus. Be sure to check out the talk below!

Parables Project – Living in a Rock Tumbler

Tim Eagle No Comments

Jesus was fond of using parables to teach principles, to help others to understand and apply the Law of Love, and to illustrate what they need to grasp as believers. But this teaching and ministerial device is just as useful today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Following is a contemporary parable, submitted by a member of Youth Apostles. It is suitable for use or adaptation in ministry.

Living in a Rock Tumbler

Living in community (a YA house, in marriage, or with one’s parents or siblings) is a lot like living in a rock tumbler. Ugly, dull, non-descript rocks get thrown into a canister with loose sand. The canister is slowly rotated, over and over, for weeks. The close proximity with others knocks the rough edges off the rocks, and they are transformed into beautiful, colorful, polished stones. What does this parable mean?

Like rocks in the tumbler, we have our rough edges – our selfish tendencies – which make us prickly and ugly. Living with others helps identify these problem areas and essentially knocks them off, thereby transforming us into the beautiful people we were meant to be.

I use this parable when discussing community life. I have (and find) it rough at times, but it has made me less selfish, better and happier.

Submitted by Mike Miller 

Parables Project – ONE Universal Catholic Church: The Chipotle Parable

Tim Eagle No Comments

Jesus was fond of using parables to teach principles, to help others to understand and apply the Law of Love, and to illustrate what they need to grasp as believers. But this teaching and ministerial device is just as useful today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Following is a contemporary parable, submitted by a member of Youth Apostles. It is suitable for use or adaptation in ministry.

ONE Universal Catholic Church: The Chipotle Parable

A young boy was walking the streets in Northern, VA after a hard day of work. He was starving but he wanted something that would truly satisfy him. He passed many restaurants and fast food places along the way but none of them excited him. He was craving something more, something better than the mundane places he walked by. Suddenly he passed by a place he had never seen before, it was called Chipotle Mexican Grill. There was something special about this place that attracted him; it was different than anywhere else he had been. As soon as he walked in, the smell of the food and the atmosphere embraced him like a warm welcoming hug. He looked at the menu with awe as he decided what to get. Then he looked down at all of the naturally raised ingredients in front of him but was troubled because there were so many different combinations he could choose (60,000 to be exact). He felt a little lost because it was his first time, but the gracious and loving burrito creator helped him step by step to make his unique burrito. First she warmed up the tortilla and placed it on the counter, but he thought nothing of it.

The counter contained a wonderful spread of food and fixings to go in the burrito. Everything was unique and had specific qualities. There was rice, steak, chicken, carnitas, barbacoa, black and pinto beans, vegetables, medium, mild and hot salsa, corn, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce! Finally the nice woman put the last item on and began to wrap it. Suddenly the boy saw how important of a role the tortilla played that he did not see before. The tortilla brought all of the ingredients together into ONE complete beautiful burrito. No matter what he put in it; whether it be carnitas, pinto beans, corn and cheese or chicken, vegetables, hot salsa, and sour cream, it all played a unique role in creating the burrito.

There are over a billion Catholics in the world. Each one of them is different in many ways. They come from every continent, speak hundreds of different languages, and have unique cultures. But no matter how many differences there are between an American Catholic and a Chinese Catholic, or a Nigerian Catholic, or a Venezuelan Catholic, or a Polish Catholic; we are all united in the same Catholic Church. Every one of us plays a different role in the Church. We are the Church and Jesus Christ is just as present in the Eucharist in Rome as he is in South Africa. If steak, corn, and guacamole can come together in a burrito than we can celebrate the Lord’s Supper with our Indian neighbor, that Lebanese exchange student and our Italian Mother-in-law.

Oh yeah the boy’s life changed after his Chipotle experience and he converted many other people into Chipotle lovers.

Submitted by Jimmy Noone

 

Parables Project – The Wise Virgins – A 21st Century Retelling

Tim Eagle No Comments

Jesus was fond of using parables to teach principles, to help others to understand and apply the Law of Love, and to illustrate what they need to grasp as believers. But this teaching and ministerial device is just as useful today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Following is a contemporary parable, submitted by a member of Youth Apostles. It is suitable for use or adaptation in ministry.

The Wise Virgins – A 21st Century Retelling

Matthew 25:1-13
Bible Version

Jesus told his disciples this parable:

“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’

While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.

Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Matthew 25:1-13
Contemporary Update

Jesus told his disciples this parable:

“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten college students preparing for final exams.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones spent reading day partying, playing video games, and running around with their friends, while the wise ones studied.  At the end of the day all were tired and fell asleep.

At 9am their cell phone alarms squawked and they were all suddenly awake: it was time for the exam!  The wise ones awoke well rested and prepared and went to the exam with clear minds.  The foolish ones awoke in a fog.  When they realized they were not ready for the exam they begged the wise ones, “Let us cheat off of you.  We’re all friends – no one will find out.  Help us out!”  But the wise ones replied, “No, we cannot jeopardize our college educations by letting you cheat off of us.  Go and cram in the library and come back before the exam ends and try to pass by your own work.”

While they went off to cram the Professor came into the classroom and locked the door.  The wise students were in the room and prepared for the exam.

Later the other students returned from their desperate cram session in the Library and knocked on the door saying, “Open the door so we can take the exam!  Let us in!  It’s not fair!”  The Professor replied, “Who are you?  Why weren’t you prepared to take the exam?”

Therefore, be prepared!  Don’t waste your time with foolish activities.  Study, do your homework; you only have one chance to pass the final exam.

Submitted by Chip Snyder

Parables Project – Unconditional Friendship

Tim Eagle No Comments

Jesus was fond of using parables to teach principles, to help others to understand and apply the Law of Love, and to illustrate what they need to grasp as believers. But this teaching and ministerial device is just as useful today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Following is a contemporary parable, submitted by a member of Youth Apostles. It is suitable for use or adaptation in ministry.

Unconditional Friendship

Chris felt awful. He had told his friend Paul a lie about something he did, and it had given him a nagging bad feeling in the pit of his stomach for months. John’s conscience, and the priest he went to for Confession, told him that he needed to come clean to his friend.

Chris wasn’t sure what was scarier – his guilt, or the consequences of telling the truth. Could he trust Paul to forgive him? Was he right to trust that this was what he should do?

Of course, telling the truth would have been worthwhile no matter what the result was. But Paul’s reaction was even better than Chris had hoped, and the flood of relief and happiness he felt was even stronger than all those bad feelings had been. Not only did Paul immediately forgave Chris, Paul also told Chris that he loved him and that he was his best friend. Chris already suspected that, but now he was sure.

Both learned a lifelong lesson about trust. Chris learned from Paul what unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness was, and Paul learned how much Chris trusted him and that his friendship was so important to Chris that Chris was willing to risk the consequences of telling him the truth and being vulnerable. The experience gave them a lifelong brotherhood that never waned.

It can take courage to trust and to be a true friend. It did for Chris when he trusted Paul to understand and forgive, and when he took a chance on telling Paul the truth. And it did for Paul when he trusted that Chris would tell the truth from now on and when he forgave Chris and let him know how important his friendship was to him no matter what. Neither could be sure it would work out that way, but each trusted the other nonetheless. That’s real love and real friendship.

Submitted by John Iekel, based on a true story

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