SERVE GOD IN YOUR YOUTH: SWEET AND BITTER TRUTH. Prayer Reflection for Saturday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time.

A popular verse of the Bible quoted by young people to justify the dynamisms of youthfulness is the book of Ecclesiastes 11. Yes it is a good thing to enjoy one's youth,  and also a good thing to justify this teaching with the Word of God for the Word of God is good, hence when preached it is rightly called Good News but when heard it is received precisely in three different ways because of the contents of the message. That is why many today do not accept it completely and wholeheartedly. If you wish to know read slowly: 

(C.f Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8)
Rejoice in your youth, you who are young; let your heart give you joy in your young days. Follow the promptings of your heart and the desires of your eyes. But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you to judgement. Cast worry from your heart, shield your flesh from pain.Yet youth, the age of dark hair, is vanity...And remember your creator in the days of your youth, before evil days come and the years approach when you say, ‘These give me no pleasure’, before sun and light and moon and stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain...

POINTS FOR REFLECTION 
1. The Word of God is received in three different ways because it contains three types of messages: A Joyful message; A Difficult Message; and A Sorrowful message! Yes it is joyful when it calls us to merry and celebrate like the opening verses of this reading which calls every youth to "rejoice in their youth, be filled with joy and follow the promptings of their heart and the desires of their eyes." The word of God becomes difficult when it desires us to deny ourselves, mortifying the senses and submit our will to God. For example the teaching on forgiveness and love of one's enemies. 
Lastly the Word of God contains the sorrowful message when it demands carrying of our crosses, involves persevering and witnessing in the face of persecutions.
2. For this reason many read and accept the joyful aspects and abandon the rest. Youths can you see that the merriments which the Lord permits you to enjoy in your time is a call to responsibility? The Word of God says in all God will bring your actions to judgement. This means that you must make merry responsibly for every thing will be accounted for. This means avoid actions that will leave you with regrettable consequences. Remember, your misdeeds can be forgiven and guilt of your evil past taken away but consequences of your actions live with you and could be passed down, that is, affect you or others in the future.

3. O youth remember you will die one day; youthfulness is not for eternity! Youthfulness is vanity without God because only in God can vain things become glorious, and mortal things take up immortality! Take Jesus as your model: He is a brave, active, industrious, obedient, loving person. He honoured wedding invitation (John 2) and feasts and not closed unto himself, He mixed up with sinners but was not contaminated but converted them, drank wine but never abused it or did drugs, He had male and female friends (what you may call casual friends today) but remained chaste, He had social circle of friends and followers near and far (what Facebook, Instagram and twitter help us achieve today) but did not use these followers to promote evil as is the case today on social media. In all he lived for others  meaning he made concrete impact in his society not just virtual impact of being popular or famous! He could not have achieved these without strong connection with his father in prayers day and night and even at mid-nights (Lk 6:12).
TASK: A youth once asked me: Father, How can I know God? I answer with the word of God that raises same question: How can the Young remain sinless? Scripture says: By obeying your Word (Psalm 119:9). How can you know God if you don't know His Word? Take up your Bible now and read: 1Timothy 4:1-16.

▪︎Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks padre. Nice work and enriching. May God grant you more grace and blessings, amen.

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  2. Beautiful message papa thanks 🙏🙏🙏

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