We had a great turnout on Thursday night at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine for our young adult Bible study. There were about 20 of us in attendance, so we enjoyed some pizza while getting to know some of the new faces. Then we split into four groups to study the Bible.
“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.”
It is amazing to consider how there were people from so many different nations together, all speaking their native tongues, yet still able to understand each other. Our group considered the words that come from our own mouths. Are we speaking vulgarities, complaints, and negativity? Or are we spreading the love of God through our joyful words and our more optimistic demeanor? We are challenged by our faith to speak out and to stand up for the Truth. One way that we can be prepared to do that is by being well-read on the Catholic teachings so that we know how to respond to the world. We must imitate Jesus’ example by responding to people with love and patience, but also acknowledging what is truth and correcting people when they are misinformed about Christian principles.
“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
This reading had many similarities to the first reading in the magnitude of our words. Some of the people we encounter in our workplaces may have had little to no experience with Christianity. As believers, we are therefore accountable for our words and we must be aware of the messages that we are spreading. Many of us in Bible study were fortunate enough to be baptized as babies and we had the privilege of being raised according to the faith, while some of us are newer converts. Regardless of the manner in which we got here, we have a responsibility to live out our faith, specifically through our words and actions. We must ask the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we may speak and act accordingly.
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
We noticed how closely related all three readings are this week in the responsibility that we have as Christians. Jesus sent out the disciples just as He sends out each of us. I sometimes wonder why I was so blessed to be born into a Catholic family in the United States of America while other babies were being born at the exact same time into poverty and desolation in other countries. But the fact of the matter is that because we have so many privileges as Americans, we must go out to spread the Word and to serve the needy. That is our responsibility. As Jesus sent the disciples, so he also sends us out into the world to preach the Good News.
Stay tuned for more Young Adults in Faith events during the month of June. Our next holy hour is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28th at 7:30pm at St. Joseph’s Church at 91 Stillhouse Road, Millstone, NJ. We hope to see you there!
By: Stephanie Queiroz
Thanks to the beautiful weather that we had last week, we had an awesome beach Bible study in Belmar on Thursday evening! We had subs, veggies, and chips for dinner. Then we grabbed our sweatshirts, beach chairs and headed down to the beach. We split into two groups and reflected on the readings.
“Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
We discussed the ways that we can provide healing to those around us. Sometimes a simple touch or hug can make more of an impact than we realize. The same is often true when we lend a listening ear to a friend or family member. We can also help people to find healing by bringing them closer to God through our witness to Christ. Depending on the person we are speaking to, that may mean discussing the Word with them or bringing them to Mass, Bible study, or adoration. But for others, our witness may come more in the way we carry ourselves and the way we live out our everyday lives.
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence…”
We talked about whether it would be beneficial to have a planned answer to provide to someone who asks us about the reason behind our hope. Most of us agreed that it would depend on the context of the situation. However, it could be beneficial to reflect on that question in prayer so that the Lord may help us to find the correct words to respond to anyone who asks us so that we can give the best answer. We also must remember that in discussing the reason for our hope, we are called to do it “with gentleness and reverence” because sometimes it is easy to sound judgmental if we speak to nonbelievers with a holier-than-thou attitude. Our humility is key.
We also discussed how “it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.” Sometimes our acclamations of hope in Christ may be ridiculed, but we must not let that stop us in proclaiming His name. In this week’s commentary, a question was posed: “If you were arrested today for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” That’s a powerful question to mediate on.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
This week’s Gospel focuses on showing our love for God by keeping His commandments, and how He will bless us in return. Some of the topics discussed during Bible study include:
This week we will be having our holy hour at St. Thomas More Church (186 Gordons Corner Rd., Manalapan Township, NJ 07726) on Friday, May 26th at 7:30pm. Fellowship in Petri Hall with some refreshments will follow. This event is hosted by Young Adults in Faith in collaboration with BREAK Ministry. We hope to see you on Friday! Have a blessed week.
By: Stephanie Queiroz
Bible Study @ the Beach? We think so!
Date & Time: May 18, 2017 at 6:30pm
Location: Join us on Slack for more info.
Readings: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17, 1 Peter 3:15-18, and John 14:15-21
Time for a new adventure! Since the weather forecast looks beautiful for tomorrow, we will be holding Bible study at the beach in Belmar off of 11th Avenue.
We will start with dinner at 6:30 pm at Stephanie’s house, and then we will have Bible study at the beach. Please bring a beach chair and a sweatshirt or jacket in case it gets chilly. And of course, your Bibles!
For more details on where to meet, please join us on Slack to get the place. Email YoungAdultsInFaith@gmail.com to get a direct invite to the Slack. Be sure to check your emails for an invite.
We hope to see you tomorrow!
By: Stephanie Queiroz
Sorry we're late on this post! Our last Bible study, we met again at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine this past Thursday in Freehold. We will be holding a Bible study in this location on the first Thursday of every month, so all are welcome! We will continue to begin with pizza in the kitchen at 6:30 pm, followed by Bible study from 7:15 to 9:00 pm. We split ourselves up into small groups of about five or six people per group, so we had three groups this week.
Here are some of the highlights from this week’s readings:
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.”
We discussed God’s promise to us, that through repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, we receive the gifts of the Spirit. We spoke about how we must remember not only to ask for God’s forgiveness, but to also show that same forgiveness to the people who wrong us. Through these acts, we may enjoy the gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, fortitude, counsel, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
“If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.”
This verse centers around our patience in suffering, remembering how Christ suffered for each of us. We were intrigued to learn the etymology of the word ‘patient,’ which has Latin roots that mean “suffering” or “enduring without complaint.” So whenever we are patient, we can assume that there is some degree of pain surrounding us. This pain can be offered up to Jesus when we remember his Passion.
We also spoke about healing that is found through Christ when we confess our sins and accept the freedom that comes with forgiveness. Do we always forgive ourselves, or do we leave confession still feeling lingering shame and regret? Do we truly make our best attempt to repair that sin going forward, or do we continue repeating the same sins time and time again? Do we remove ourselves from situations that we know may tempt us or lead us to sin?
He died for us so that we may “live for righteousness.” It is through Him that we have been healed. Have we really surrendered to that message?
“I come so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
This week’s Gospel tells the story of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who is the gate through which we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Through Him we may be saved. Some ideas that were shared through Bible study this week include:
Thank you to all of you who were able to meet with us this week for Bible study! We look forward to seeing you soon.
Please join us at our next holy hour, which will be held on Friday, May 26th, at St. Thomas More Church in Manalapan at 7:30 pm, followed by fellowship.
By: Stephanie Queiroz
This past Thursday, we embarked on a new adventure. Thanks to our growing size, we have been looking for alternate locations to host Bible study. Ideally, we would love to have a home in a central area of the diocese in which to gather, so we're working on this! We decided to gather at Freehold Raceway Mall for last week’s Bible study.
We met in the food court, and each of us were able to choose our own meal preference, eating together while gathering in fellowship. We then split into two groups for Bible study. Here are some of the highlights from this week’s readings.
“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence…”
We discussed the ways we live our lives to the fullness that God has promised us. Through discernment, we try our best to follow His will for us, with the faith that He will guide us in the right direction. We must live in the present moment, not waiting for a stable career, home, marriage, or some future milestone to begin our path to holiness.
Too many people today wait for the “real world” to begin, but we have been experiencing the “real world” since birth. We must say yes to His call, not waiting for some perfect moment that may never exist, but believing that He will guide us where we are right now.
“Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially…”
This verse shows how God has no partiality in dealing with us. We are not placed on a pedestal because of our faith in Him, which we must remember when it comes to our interactions with those around us. God is the ultimate judge, so it is not our place to condemn sinners. We are, after all, sinners who also need His mercy. We are called to forgive “not seven times, but seventy times” (MT 18:22).
Our group discussed how it often seems easier to forgive distant people like terrorists because we can see how they have been brainwashed to believe that what they are doing is for the greater good, even if they are misguided. What is more difficult is forgiving those who are closest to us, especially those who continue to cause us pain after we have already struggled to forgive them for past wrongs. But God’s mercy is endless, so we must strive to imitate that in our own lives.
“Jesus himself came up and walked along them; but they were kept from recognizing him…”
The Gospel reminds us that it is easy to fail to recognize Christ in our lives. Like the men who failed to recognize Jesus while walking with him, we often fail to understand His plan. We complain when things don’t work out the way we had hoped, not seeing the bigger picture. How foolish we often are in these reactions to adversities that we encounter in order to be strengthened. We want those who meet us to see Christ through our love, smiles, and kindness and not our anger, bitterness, or frustration.
Instead of grumbling about our trials, we should be joyful in our faith that God’s plan for us is more spectacular than we could ever imagine. Ultimately, it is through this joy that we are able to bring His teachings to those around us. A simple smile or a sincere question posed to a stranger can allow them to see Christ in us, thus spreading His love in the simplest ways.
Some of us were initially hesitant about holding Bible study in a mall. Would it be too noisy? Too crowded? Too distracting? Instead, the result was a grace-filled evening where we were able to not only share in faith and fellowship, but also witness to the general public. We hope that anyone who saw us sitting there reading, praying over, and discussing the Scriptures was able to see God’s presence.
We look forward to our next Bible study this Thursday, May 4th, which will be held at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine at 6:30pm. Please join us this week!
By: Stephanie Queiroz