Jesus reveals who he is more fully Peter, James, and John in the transfiguration gospel this Sunday. The vision anticipating Jesus’ resurrection scares, confuses, and amazes the three disciples. Fear can cause us to hide our true selves from those around us. It can keep us from recognizing who someone else really is; it can prevent us from reaching out to others and affirming them. The song “Do Right” is about reaching out to others, letting them know that we see them, and doing right by the people around us.
Key lines: I miss the way my mama knew what to do / She said to do right by your neighbor / And they’ll do right by you / When we get older we can forget the truth / That if you do right by your neighbor / Then they’ll do right by you
Questions: What do you risk when you speak your truth? When have you opened up about something you’ve been scared to share? What does it mean to “do right” by your neighbor? What can you do to reach out to those in need? When has someone else affirmed you and made a transforming difference?
Some relationships bring out the best in us; they teach us compassion and forgiveness. Other relationships challenge our values and perceptions of who we are and what we want. Gavin James’ song “Hearts on Fire” is about relationships and the challenges that occur when we’re pulled in different directions.
Key lines: Strangers in my head / Keep making me forget / Where I came from…/ There’s madness in eyes / We’re too blind to realize / Just what we’ve done… / I feel it taking a hold / I feel a rush in my bones / For you / I think we’re caught in a fight / Can we make it alright / With all these shadows on our backs / How can we take it back and / How can we love with our hearts on fire
Questions: What values do you look for in relationships? When has a relationship challenged you? How did you resolve the challenges? What keeps you centered when facing the demands of others? What does loving someone mean?
We all experience times when we lose self-confidence and berate ourselves for not being smart enough or good looking enough, for not fitting into what social media, advertising, even our own peers, tell us is the “popular” way to look and act. These can be challenging times that affect how we see ourselves and our roles within our society. The song “Burn So Bright” is about embracing who we are and letting our light shine in spite of the people who would otherwise keep us down.
Key lines: When you fall, you’re gonna hit hard / When you love with your whole heart / Remember the hard times make ya you / That’s when we’ll show the world / They’re not gonna break us
Questions: When have you felt pressure to look or act a certain way? What are some reasons people get shunned in your school or community? Do you think these reasons are valid? When have you challenged the status quo? How have you handled bullies in your life?
Teens created this cross of Lenten practices. We invite you to download, print, and distribute this resource to the teens in your parish and family at goodgroundpress.com or by clicking on the image above.
Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law and everyone who crowds his doorway; then he goes on to another village to proclaim the good news of God’s nearness. This is the same Jesus who loves and stands by us. The song “Rockabye” is about how people who love give us strength.
Key Lyrics: She tells him “ooh love” / No one’s ever gonna hurt you, love / I’m gonna give you all of my love / Nobody matters like you (stay up there, stay up there) / She tells him “your life ain’t gonna be nothing like my life (straight) / You’re gonna grow and have a good life / I’m gonna do what I’ve got to do” (yeah)
Questions: When you are making a difficult decision, how do the people around you help you? How do they challenge you? How do they support you? How do you handle pressure that threatens your values? Where do you think our world needs healing?
When someone we love is going through a tough time, we can easily make excuses and ignore issues. We don’t want to anger or hurt a friend. But an alcoholic parent or a bully can push us into action. At these times it’s best to take a page out of Jesus’ book, address issues honestly and openly, and take our stance. Standing firm can be hard. The song “Howlin’ Wind” reminds us to listen to that quiet voice inside and let it guide us down the right path.
Key lines: You call my name / Speaking peace to my fear / Watch you calm the storm with one whisper in my ear / ‘Cause in my own strength / My roots went dry / Broken branches got tossed at night / I gave in to the howlin’ wind / So I let you in / You’ll still the howlin’ wind
Questions: When have you had to stand your ground? What made it easy? What made it difficult? When is it important to take a stand? Who speaks the truth in
your school or community?
Jesus begins his ministry with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God draws near. Change your attitude and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus serves as the ultimate role model in how we should treat ourselves and each other; he challenges unjust laws and perspectives; he teaches us the importance of forgiveness and mercy. Just as Jesus leads by example, Bea Miller’s song “Brand New Eyes” is about waking up to the truth of our purpose, regardless of the challenges that may come our way.
Key lines: I’m wide awake now, I’m free of the doubt / Don’t wanna look down / And if I fall out, I lay on the ground / And look to the clouds / It’s like I got brand new eyes, and I can finally see / What has always been right there in front of me / And with these brand new eyes I’ll take in everything / And I will finally see me
Questions: Who serves as a role model for you? What have you learned from your role models? How have you applied what you learned to your own life? How has Jesus influenced your ideas and actions? What challenges have you overcome because you’ve followed Jesus’ example?