Hot Topics / YouCat – Jan 26th Summary

It was suggested after the first YouCat session that we send out a resume of what we spoke about.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten stuff and hopefully not got too much wrong, but here’s some “brief” notes (it’s suprising how much we covered) about what we spoke about.

We started out with a short taize song, a reading and a prayer, then we had a short introduction to the youcat from Jean-Baptiste.

We looked at 2 questions from the YouCat:
1. For what purpose are we here on earth; and
2. Why did God create us.

We spoke about God creating us for love.

God’s “surplus” or abundant love for us was compared to the Theology of the Body hot topics where the love of a man and a woman is so abundant it spills over and creates children.�

We wandered off-topic a little and spoke about a section from the earlier reading where Jesus sent his disciples off on a journey, telling them not to “salute” anyone on the road.  It seemed a little strange to a British (European?) person to be told to ignore anyone you passed.  Father Michael said that in Africa and the Middle East, it would be considered rude to just say hello in passing -  when you say hello to someone on the road, you should stop and ask about their parents, their grandparents, their children, you ask how they slept, what they last ate etc etc, so it was a much longer process than just a friendly hello – it becomes a diversion from what God wants you to do.

We spoke about why God had created us to be with him but we had been apart from him for so long, and tried to understand why.

We touched on the creation in Genesis, and Father Michael said that the first 11 chapters of the Bible are more to explain an idea than about real people.  (please correct me if I’ve got this wrong!!)

The garden of eden can be seen as the love of God, and we can leave it any time we want, but the garden gate is always open for us to return.

We spoke about the nature of love – is it possible to stop loving your parents or your children if you want to? and the idea that real love is not a reward, it is unconditional.  You don’t have to be a perfect person to go back into the garden of God’s love – you can be an imperfect person with faults, like the saints were.

We also spoke about the gospel story where the Sadduccees came to Jesus and asked him what would happen if a woman married a man who then died, and so she married his younger brother who then died, so she married his next brother etc until all 7 of the brothers had married her and died.  Putting her bad luck aside the question they brought to Jesus was which man will she be with in the Resurrection.  Apparently the Sadducees didn’t believe in the Resurrection, so this was an answer to trick Jesus.  Anyway, he said something along the lines of “you’ve got it all wrong, that’s not what it’ll be like in heaven”.  We spoke about how this is because all of the love we feel on earth is just a reflection of the love God has for us – heaven is so full of perfect love that the love we felt on earth is totally outshone and becomes kind of irrelevant.

We decided that for the next session we would look at the next 5 questions in the youcat and first try to answer them ourselves, especially trying to bring our own personal experiences to help answer them.  And then we would look at the answer in YouCat to see what the Church’s official response was and see how our responses compared.

I really enjoyed the first session.  Thanks everyone – especially Jean-Baptiste for leading it and Teresa for organising it.  I’m looking forward to the next one.

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