This reflection encourages youth to consider how they experience God’s presence in their lives.
Start by having some fun with an airzooka. If you can’t obtain an airzooka, you can blow up a balloon and let the air out. In either case, you should practice beforehand, so you know how far away you can stand from the objects you are blasting. The further away you are, the more impressive this is.
Set up some targets around the room to move or blow over. Think a stack of plastic cups, small plastic figures, a house of cards, etc. If allowed, a lit candle is also a good option.
Knock down one or two of your objects.
- Did you see that?
- What knocked that down?
- The air? Could you see it?
- How do you know the air knocked it down?
Continue knocking down objects and asking them how they know the air did it.
We can’t actually see the air, but we can see the effects of the air. Sometimes we know something is happening even though the cause isn’t visible. We use our intelligence and our other senses to detect it.
Read the gospel:
Matthew 28:16-20 (Jesus is always with us) – the Gospel Reading for the Trinity Sunday – Year B
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”Matthew 28:16-20
In today’s gospel, Jesus is preparing to ascend to the Father. His disciples have been used to having him physically present. They have become accustomed to having conversations with him, enjoying meals together, listening to him teach. He reassures them that even though things will be different, he will still be with them.
Jesus is with us also.
- How can we have a conversation with Jesus?
- How can we have a meal with Jesus?
- How can Jesus teach us?
- How else do you encounter Jesus in your life?
- Have you even had an experience where you felt especially close to Jesus?
Just as we had to use our many senses and our intellect to know that the air was what was knocking over those objects, we need to put some effort into seeing how Jesus is with us in our lives. One of the most important ways to do this is daily prayer.
In our prayer life, gratitude especially helps us see how Jesus is with us. It is easy to get caught up in asking for Jesus to help us with our problems. But practicing gratitude can help us see that He is already doing that.
This week, spend some time in gratitude each day. Think of three things specific to that day which you are grateful for. It could be a good conversation with a friend. Or maybe you had a meal you really enjoyed. Perhaps you noticed the smell of flowers in the garden. Or you saw a beautiful sunset. Maybe somebody did something nice for you. In any case, come up with three very specific things each day and thank God for them.
Writing your prayers of gratitude in a journal is also helpful. Then, when you are having a bad day, you can go back and read about how you saw Jesus present in your life.
Trust in Jesus. He is with you always.
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