World Youth Day - Madrid 2011
As a resource in preparation for young people to attend the World Youth Day 2011 (WYD), the Hispanic Ministry Resource Center has developed a series of catechesis adapted from those officially proposed by the WYD organization, following the same order and themes.
Catechesis 1. God has made us capable of living with him
If this is the first time the group meets, you could have a group dynamics or ice breaker, such as the Hola Bingo attached. Mjit.org
Song. Invocation to the Holy Spirit
To start reflecting: Such is life
Have you ever passionately fallen in love only to see that love being extinguished and ended, leaving you even more thirsty than before?
Have you ever wondered what is out there? Are you dissatisfied by beautiful things that have an end?
If faced with a violent death in your neighborhood, or with the lack of meaning of some of the things you see around you, Do you feel some sort of anxiety, or a desire for something that does not end? Do you feel anger when you see injustice around you?
Do you sometimes feel that your projects and ambitions sometimes fall short if you reduce them to yourself and your own benefit?
Saint Augustine says: “You made us, Lord, for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
All people, independently of their age, race or culture, experience this desire of something beyond themselves, of something infinite. This desire is life itself. Desiring the infinite is desiring fullness of life.
This desire is the conductive thread of our life: without the unity generated by this desire to build, trapped between anger before injustice and compassion before pain, between loving and being loved, and the call to be fruitful.
This desire and search is called the religious question. When we speak about religion, it is about this desire for something infinite that is talked about.
O God, you are my God. For you I raise early. My soul is thirsty for you; my flesh pines for you as dry, parched land, without water. Psalm 62.
Have a short time of sharing in couples. Have I ever felt that desire and that search? Did I have the experience that God was very close?
Continue the reflection with the text:
Religion or religions
Sometimes we meet people who ask us if we are Christians, or if we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior…Some people immediately answer that they are Catholics, not Christians…As if we Catholics did not believe in Christ!
The truth is that there are many religions, besides the Christian confessions and knowing them might help us to identify our own faith and also to realize that all people carry in their hearts this same desire for something infinite, this same search for God.
Some people think that Catholics are idolatrous because we have images. But it is not images who build idolatry, but rather making these images, created by a human being, into objects for adoration, as if they were God himself.
Idols, however, do not answer the need of something infinity of the human being: “They have eyes, but do not see; they have mouth, but do not speak; they have ears but do not hear; they have noses and do not smell; they have hands but do not touch; they have feet and do not walk. Their throat has no voice…” (Psalm 113)
The variety of answers to the thirst for something infinite, and the helplessness of idols to fulfill this wish, evidence the need for a good and definite answer. What to do?
For group discussion
What does it mean for us to be Catholic? Why are we Catholic? How does God quench our thirst today?
Dios está aquí…tan cierto como el aire que respire…