Today’s Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
Last year, the amazing bishop of my diocese launched a mutually-shared vision with a focus on a few things, one being youth ministry. He wants teenagers and young adults in the church feel important and listened to. He wants to make the Church more alive and relevant to them without sacrificing what makes her so beautiful.
A lot of effort is being poured into this very worthwhile cause. And I think it all starts with this gospel passage. Listen to them. Get on their level instead of talking down to them. Value teens as more than babysitters and trash collectors at church events. Allow them to tell you something instead of always thinking you’re the one with something to teach.
Really, these are great lessons for interacting with people of all ages. Start by listening. I learned a great trick the other day to become a better listener: When you’re having a conversation, take a breath before responding. That gives the person a chance to finish what they are saying. I tried it the other day and failed miserably, but it was a step in the right direction. If you have a teenager at home this would probably be a great exercise in patience and humility for yourself, and I bet your child would notice the difference and really appreciate it.
Do you give the young people in your parish or home the same attention and care you give to adults?
Lord, give me the humility to value the young people in my life. Help me to listen with open and eager ears and give me a heart to love and not judge.
Copyright 2019 Abby Brundage
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