Your Homework For June 22 Session – Video & Reflection Questions

Read and Watch For Next Time (June 22)

Watch Fr Mike Schmitz’s video below. It’s about 30 minutes long, and WELL WORTH it.

Read the summary and while/after you watch the video, take some time to think about the questions for reflection.

Questions for Reflection

This past Spring term, our schedules and routines changed because of the Pandemic.  Fr. Mike challenges us with this question, “if I go back to the same schedule I kept before, the same pace of life, will I end up being closer to Jesus or will I soon forget?”

Question #1    Reflect on how your relationship with Jesus has or hasn’t changed since beginning the confirmation program. In what ways have the changes this past spring term schedule due to pandemic closures  had on your relationship with

  1. Jesus
  2. Friendships
  3. Family

In what way can you continue to change your environment or your schedule so that joy can grow, so that you can thrive in your friendships, Family and Faith?

Question # 2: Fr. Mike tells the story of Lucy on the plane. How does he define indifference? How was he indifferent to Lucy?

Question # 3: Fr. Mike says we will all fail from time to time, we will sometimes forget what Jesus has done for us, and we will have moments of indifference, when we fail to act.  What does he suggest we do when we fail?

Summary of Fr Mike’s “Share|SEEK2019” video
Reading this summary doesn’t get you off the hook for watching the video 😉

Fr. Mike opens with a story about Sarah, the first girl he ever fell in love with, (in the 4th grade) whom he admired from afar, but he never spoke to her.  He was “in love” with her but nothing in his behavior toward her changed.  So nothing came of it.

Then he tells the story of some relatives who witnessed the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima.  Many who witnessed and experienced the power of God were changed by that experience and passed it down to others, making sure not to forget what had happened to them, what God had done in their lives, but maybe some also went home and back to their routines and soon forgot about the experience and nothing changed.

Finally he challenges us to think about our life last fall (think pre-quarantine, pre-pandemic, pre-civil unrest.)  He challenges us to examine if there is room in our life and environment for God and friendship.

Fr. Mike expressed concern about our relationship with Jesus;  that even though we say we love Jesus, like he “loved” Sarah, nothing in our life changes, we go home from a retreat or confirmation and things go right back to life as usual. Maybe we stop talking about our faith with others, or our faith doesn’t move us to change our environment or maybe there is no room in our environment for our faith to grow.

Session Recap – June 8

Kathy started the session, looking back on a tumultuous week. She chose this song for an opening prayer to help us settle in and invite us to respond faithfully to our call as Christians.

“They will know we are Christians” a hymn from the 70’s, updated here by Jars of Clay


Recent Events – Demonstrations, Protests

Kathy asked the group whether anyone present was directly affected by the recent protests. Or what their impressions were …

Three of the group shared:

One went to a demonstration at the Redondo Beach City Hall. It was a peaceful demonstration, with participants chanting, etc.

Another viewed some protests from their car. Some of their friends participated. Their dad was working as security at one of the demonstrations/protests in Hollywood.

Another teen’s dad is in the LAPD. He’s been working on duty many hours to keep everyone safe – around 200 hours in the last 2 weeks

"The Will Know We Are Christians" - Jars of Clay

Rules, Laws, Commandments, and all that

Next, Kathy gave the group the following challenge:

Write down 4 laws or rules that everyone is expected to follow (recent, old, from a long time ago or from yesterday)


Some of the responses included:

Treat others as you would like to be treated
Don’t use God’s name in vain
Do not steal
Drive safely
Do not harm other people
Maintain social distancing

So why do we have these laws???
Some of the responses were: to be fair, to stay safe, to keep balance, to keep people happy, to protect people’s rights

Jesus brought new light to the old testament laws that people had taken at face value for many years.
Jesus taught that thoughts & motives for actions were AS important as following the letter of the law.

The Teen Ten Commandments

Kathy gave us the following thought experiment:

If you were to design a church specifically for teenagers, what would be your top ten rules/guidelines?
What would be the Teen “Ten Commandments”?

Some of the responses were:

Respect your parents
Be empathetic to others
Keep an open mind to other people’s feelings and opinions
Don’t judge other people
Try to do the right thing
Everyone is welcome
Be courteous and kind to others
Respect other people’s space
Mistakes are encouraged
Accept others the way they are
Listen to teachers

Any themes in these responses?

Respect, be open minded, be accepting of others

The Ten Commandments

Quick quiz: where can you find the Ten Commandments in the Bible?

Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21

You’ll find the Ten Commandments with different wording and ordering, depending on the translation and the denomination of Christianity.

For Catholics, the following is a common statement of the Ten Commandments:1 Thou shalt not Have other gods before me
2 Thou shalt not Take the Lord’s name in vain
3 Thou shall keep The Sabbath day holy
4 Thou shalt not Dishonor thy father and mother
5 Thou shalt not Kill
6 Thou shalt not Commit adultery
7 Thou shalt not Steal
8 Thou shalt not Bear false witness
9 Thou shalt not Covet thy neighbor’s wife
10 Thou shalt not Covet thy neighbor’s material goods

The ultimate significance of the commandments is to join the people of God in a binding covenantal relationship.
Following these observances establishes a pattern of life that characterizes us as God’s people.

A Comedic Take on Moses receiving the Ten Commandments

It’s a classic Mel Brooks scene

Bishop Barron gives a nice, if professorial, breakdown of the Ten Commandments. Have a look:

Jesus breaks down the meaning of the law too, in the Gospel of Matthew:

The Greatest Commandment

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,
and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40

Jesus rejects a narrow, legalistic literal meaning of the commandments and reveals the true and full meaning, calling us into a deeper, more radical interpretation. He looks beyond the physical acts of transgression to examine the matter of the heart.

Read and Watch For Next Time (June 22)

Watch Fr Mike Schmitz’s video below. It’s about 30 minutes long, and WELL WORTH it. We’ll send out some reflection questions soon …

Also, read Archbishop Gomez’s prayer on overcoming racism.

Why is it important to share the Gospel after an encounter with Christ? Fr. Mike Schmitz encourages and inspires us as we go forth into the world.

Prayer to Overcome Racism

In his message to our community of faith, Archbishop Gomez reminded us that racism is “a blasphemy against God, who creates all men and women with equal dignity. It has no place in a civilized society and no place in a Christian heart.”

As an Archdiocese, we stand committed to continuing to work to end racial injustice in our society and promote peaceful dialogue, discourse, and understanding of race and social justice.

Prayer to Overcome Racism

Prayer to Overcome Racism

Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.