Kairos: Volume 20, Issue 10
Youth from around the western region of Melbourne Archdiocese gathered at St Peter Chanel’s, Deer Park, on Sunday 17 May for the second session in the Catechesis Series with Bishops.
Bishop Christopher Prowse, Auxiliary Bishop of the western region, led the session, inviting the group of more than 100 youth to participate in Lectio Divina, or ‘divine reading’, a reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer.
Introducing his session, the Bishop explained that “John, like all the apostles, was a poet”.
“It is in this light that we should read and reflect on his account of Jesus Christ. In our reading today (John 20:1-18), John describes for us Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the newly Risen Christ. She sees that her Lord’s tomb is empty, and becomes filled with fear and doubt.
Seeing this, Jesus (whom Mary supposes to be the gardener) asks, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’
“Just as Jesus asks Mary so too must we ask ourselves, ‘for whom are we looking?’”
The Bishop highlighted that in today’s society, it has become increasingly popular to box religion as separate from what society offers as sources of hope and happiness. He went on to describe how young people in particular are constantly searching for hope in material possessions, or resort to drugs, sex, or alcohol; all of which offer a fleeting pleasure but are devoid of any true joy.
“Jesus would never impose Himself on us; He respects our freedom. But it is only in Jesus that we will find the hope and strength that we seek. So, when we do go in search of Him, He will be there – calling us by our name. Look to Him as a constant source of hope.” he said.
And while it is easy to pray to God on our own, Bishop Prowse emphasised that it was in a community of hope that we are able to gain strength in our faith.
“John tells us that once Mary knew that it was her Lord, Jesus told her to go and spread the news of His resurrection. In the same way we are each commissioned to bring the hope of Christ to others.
“Go!” Bishop Prowse said as he ended his Lectio Divina.
To end the session, everyone was invited to write down their own hopes anonymously, which were later collected and placed in a basket. Then everyone took out another person’s hope to take with them and pray for over the coming week. For more information on the next Catechesis session, visit the Archdiocesan Office for Youth (AOY) website www.aoy.org.au or call 9412 8400.