Crossroads Semester 4 – J3K: Discipleship in the Third Millennium

Following themes laid out by Pope John Paul II, the J3K Discipleship semester looks at the demands of following Jesus in the Third Millennium.
Units included in the semester:

a. Conversion and Reconciliation

Youth Group Meeting: In his document entitled, ‘The Mystery of the Incarnation’, Pope John Paul II outlines the essential elements of Christian discipleship. This meeting will help set the foundation for all discipleship, that in order to follow Christ we begin by repenting for our sins and believing in Him. If we do not admit we need Him, then we will not follow Him. We will help the teens examine the state of their spiritual lives and encourage them to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Going Deeper Meeting: Our ‘Going Deeper’ session will examine some key Scripture passages that describe repentance and conversion. To repent means to turn away from sin and grow in the holiness of Christ. We will see that all people are called to repentance and conversion of heart, but that many factors get in the way. We will invite the teens to examine their own lives based on the Scriptures, and to determine what they need to do to deepen their conversion on a daily basis.

b. Pilgrimage

Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will help the teens understand that following Jesus is a lifelong journey. To help reinforce this in our lives, the Church has a tradition of spiritual pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is an opportunity to physically move ourselves into God’s presence to renew our relationship with Him. We will see that as Christians, we are on a pilgrimage to heaven and are called to follow the footsteps of Christ every day of our lives and in every part of our lives.

Going Deeper Meeting: Examining Romans 12, this ‘Going Deeper’ session will explain the disciplines needed to be a disciple of Jesus throughout our entire lives. St. Paul calls us to give every part of our lives over to Jesus, including our bodies, minds, attitudes, hearts, and wills. We will invite the teens to reflect on this passage and look at their relationship with Christ on both a short term and long term level.

c. Works of Mercy

Youth Group Meeting: This ‘Youth Group’ meeting will challenge the teens to see Christ in everyone they meet. We will show them how Christ is present in each person they encounter on a daily basis, from the ‘outcasts’ all the way to the homeless people. This meeting will also address what it means to have an attitude of service in our Christian lives: We serve because Christ served us first. The spiritual and corporal works of mercy help guide our actions in knowing how to serve each other.

Going Deeper Meeting: In this session, the teens will look at how Jesus modeled the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We will have them look at some key Scriptural passages from the Gospels and categorize them by either spiritual or corporal works of mercy. We will see that Jesus was very concerned about both the physical, emotional and spiritual suffering of people. He was motivated to help them get to heaven. We will also invite the teens to compare Jesus’ understanding with service with society’s understanding.

d. Real Presence of the Eucharist

Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will show the teens that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus. It will explain the doctrine of the Real Presence and show that, while many people do not follow Jesus on this teaching, we are called to be faithful to Him, even if that makes us unpopular.

Going Deeper Meeting: In our ‘Youth Group’ meeting, we examined John 6:54. In this ‘Going Deeper’ passage, we will look at John 6:22-69. This is the ‘Bread of Life’ discourse. Here Jesus says that He is the bread of life and that we need to eat His flesh to have eternal life. After examining the text, we will see that Jesus meant this literally, and that we can eat His flesh in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus, and is available for us in the Holy Mass.

e. Martyrdom

Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will focus on the Church’s tradition of martyrdom, that many people have and will offer their lives and die rather than deny the person of Christ. The martyrs provide a powerful role model to all people today, especially teenagers. We will explore the concept of witnessing and how following Jesus calls us to die to ourselves in small ways every day.

Going Deeper Meeting: As much as any time in history, we live in a world that needs effective witnessing. People are motivated by heroes, not by ‘teachings’. This session will help the teens see the importance of their witness to Jesus. Witnessing for Jesus comes from loving Him passionately. When we love, we are in the position to be used by Jesus for His will. In this session, we have an opportunity to have the teens reflect on becoming a Christian hero, and how they are called to witness for Jesus in their daily lives.

f. Mary

Youth Group Meeting: In this unit we will invite the teens to examine Mary as the model disciple of Jesus. We will challenge the teens to turn to Mary as their spiritual mother. We will give them the basic tools to help build that relationship with Mary, and we will show that a relationship with Mary will help us get closer to Jesus than without a relationship with Mary.

Going Deeper Meeting: Our ‘Going Deeper’ session will look at the key Marian Scripture passages and see how she is the model disciple of Jesus. The Scriptures show us that she loves God’s will more than anything else in her life. She is an example of prayer from the heart, and models for us dedication to Jesus, even in the midst of difficult suffering. Mary’s discipleship calls us to love Jesus more and more and to learn to open our hearts to whatever Jesus asks of us.

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Return to the Crossroads Four-Year Curriculum outline.