Bible Verse for the Week

One of the goals of the youth ministry program at St. Therese of Lisieux R.C. Church is to promote the spiritual growth of the youth within the parish through reading the word of God. The Bible verse for the week, therefore, seeks to enkindle in the youth, the desire to know God through His word.

March 29, 2020 – April 4, 2020

March 22, 2020 -March 28, 2020  
Praying as Jesus Taught During Lent and In a Time of Panic: Mathew 6:9-13

Our Father in Heaven hallowed be your name

Spend this first part of your prayer praising God and thanking God. Thank God for sacrificing His only Son on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Thank God for good health.

Your Kingdom come

Spend this part of your prayer asking God for his justice and healing mercies to come. Where there are wars? In your community, where there are pandemics and health workers on the front lines who are at risk? Ask God for repentance in the hearts of those who cause conflicts and wars, and for kindness in the hearts of individuals to show love to another in situations of fear and uncertainty.

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Ask for God’s will to be done in you and others during this season of Lent. God’s will, that we repent and turn to Him. Continue to ask for God’s healing mercies at this time.

Give us this day our daily bread

Here God wants you to bring your needs to Him. Come to the Lord and bring all your needs to Him. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

Lent is not just seeking forgiveness from God but also forgiving others and asking for forgiveness from people we have offended. Ask God to help you in times when forgiving others proves very difficult and also to mend broken relationships.

And do not bring us to the time of trial

Pray for help for the temptations we cannot overcome eg stealing, cheating, lying, etc. Remember the seven things God hates and cannot tolerate. Proverbs 6:16 – 19? Also the Temptation in the Garden

But rescue us from the evil one

The struggle between good and evil is real. God is real. The Devil is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. Evil leads to sin. The Devil is the evil one and following his sinful ways leads us to hell. Pray during this season for deliverance from the evil ways of Satan. We also pray asking God to rescue us from the invisible enemy in the form of the Coronavirus which continues to threaten globally the very existence of life. Psalm 91 is a good guide for this prayer.

March 15, 2020 -March 21, 2020  
Luke 18:10 -14  Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector 
10 Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 
11 The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector. 
12 I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income. 
13 But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, O God, be merciful to me a sinner. 

14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone one who exalts himself will be humbled and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.   

The text of today is about the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector. It teaches us during the season of lent about the importance of humility in prayer. We may fast, give alms, and pray our hearts out to God, but without practicing humility in all of these three Lenten observances, we will be far off from true repentance as exemplified by the Pharisee. 

March 8, 2020 – March 14, 2020 
Sirach 4:31 (Give freely during Lent) 
 31 Do not let your hand be open to receive but clenched when it is time to give.   
As youth, are we quick to receive all the time but slow to give in kind and in love? Giving alms, hope and love to the disadvantaged, homeless, hungry etc. is what is required of us as our lenten obligation. You may ask, how do I give when I do not have much, when I do not work? Well, the answer is simple: save a nickel, a dime, a quarter every week of Lent; give your talent in service to God and your community; give away clothes you do not wear; do not waste food and in doing so acknowledge that there are others in need of food; giving a helping hand at home by doing chores; help a friend in class understand a subject you are good at. The list is endless!!

March 1, 2020 – March 7, 2020 
Joel 2:12-13
12 Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting , weeping, and mourning. 
13 Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment.  
We are in the 1st week of Lent. We are called to effect change from within and give God our hearts. We do not just have to talk the talk but also walk the path Jesus trod. A path of humility, sacrifice and love. As youth,  it is by being humble in prayer, sacrificing our selfish desires and loving others that we can truly return to the Lord with our whole hearts. Live Lent!

February 23, 2020 – February 29, 2020 
Jeremiah 29:12 
“When you call me, and come pray to me, I will listen to you.”  
This bible verse from Jeremiah prepares us in a special way for Lent. God asks us to call on him and pray to him. Prayer is communicating with God and building a relationship with a heavenly Father who loves and forgives us our sins. Prayer is one of the three acts of penance during the season of Lent. May we live a life of prayer during this upcoming season of repentance. 

February 16, 2020 – February 22, 2020
2 Corinthians 13: 14

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever more. Amen.

The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient for all. God’s love is steadfast and everlasting. God’s Spirit is always with us and abides in us. As we enter the Lenten season, may the grace, love and Spirit of God guide our hearts to repentance. Amen.

February 9, 2020 – February 15, 2020
Psalm 23:6

Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever and ever, Amen.

This verse is part of a psalm mostly referred to as The Lord is My Shepherd. I was taught this Psalm by my grandmother when I was 10 years old. We would recite the whole chapter of Psalm 23 at the end of morning prayers any time my siblings and I visited. However, this last verse, Psalm 23:6 was my favorite. It became my mantra. I believed in it and always wanted to be in God’s house as young as I was. Indeed, growing up and to this day, I have always been in the house of the Lord serving Him, in one way or another. Prayers are powerful, words are powerful, God’s Word is Effective. Pray it !!! (By Elaine Tontoh)

February 2, 2020 – February 8, 2020
Matthew 7:7-11

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Prayer is about having a conversation with God. Prayer is also about developing a relationship with God. He (God), takes the first step in building this relationship by admonishing us to ask, seek and knock on His door. He is a loving Father who will give to us what we ask in accordance with His will, help us find that which we seek and will open impossible doors for us. Have faith!

January 26, 2020 – February 1, 2020
James 1:5-6

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

Sometimes as youth, we face difficulties in taking decisions and making plans in areas of our lives that are very important to us. During those difficult moments, we can lean on God to give us the wisdom we need to make the right plans and decisions. However, we need to ask with faith, knowing that He is the only one who will make our plans succeed.

January 19, 2020 – January 25, 2020
Proverbs 16:1, 3, 9

1  We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.
3  Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
9  We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Our bible verse encourages us to commit the plans we have made for the New Year into God’s hands. It is only through Him that our plans will be successful. This is because God not only knows the right steps we need to take but also the right answers we are looking for.

January 12, 2020 -January 18, 2020
Matthew 6:33
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

As young as they are, our youthful ones have needs because our youth like adults also have goals they need to achieve and challenges they need to overcome. During a recent youth bible study at the parish, our young ones listed among other New Year resolutions that they needed to do better in their academic work this year and excel in their upcoming exams. Others also needed to successfully complete high school so as to gain admission into a college of their choice. As parents, parishioners and guardians of young people we live with, we ought to show them the right way to fulfill these needs. We can do this by first helping our youth to seek God first through praying to God, serving God, and reading the Word of God daily, because everything we will ever have or achieve and whatever we will ever become in the future will only come from Him, the Creator of all life and of all things.

January 5, 2020 – January 11, 2020
Matthew 6:33
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

As youth, we may have need a lot of things or have big aspirations now or in the future. How do we want to acquire the things we need or achieve our aspirations? The verse in Mathew shows us a way. That we should seek God first and be righteous. This week spend some time thinking of ways in which you can put God first and do what is right. The Bible is a great resource!!!!!

December 29, 2019 – January 4, 2020
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

The year 2019 is almost ended. You may not have achieved all your goals for 2019. Your expectations for 2019 may have been disappointed. The future (2020) may look bleak in all aspects of your life considering your current situation. There is some good news for you! Look to words of Jeremiah in today’s text because the Prophet gives you words of hope. God cherishes young people. You are his prized possession.  He loves you and He has good plans for your future, for the coming year. If only you will entrust your plans, goals, and expectations for the new year to God and believe in Him, He will work things out for you. Cheer up!

December 22- December 28 ( 4th Week of Advent) 
John 1:1, 14 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.   

Jesus will be born very soon as foretold by the Prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist. He is the Word that existed in the very beginning, became human like us and made his dwelling among us. As youth, we have a lot to learn from Jesus’ birth and His Father, the Creator. The birth of Jesus signifies the Humility and Love of God the Father for us by making His one and only Son human like us. Jesus’ birth also represents  Hope for our world today because we know Jesus dwells in our hearts and will fill us with His grace and truth. 

December 15 – December 21, 2019 (3rd week of Advent)
1 Peter 2:9  
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. She was chosen to be the holy vessel through whom Jesus, our Savior would be birthed. After Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she had been chosen by God for this very purpose (The Annunciation), she sang the Magnificat, the praises of Him who had made her blessed among all women. We too, as youth, as young people, have been chosen by God to do His will, that is,  to fulfill His plan in this world. The will of God during this season of Advent is to live holy lives by doing what is right through reading and understanding the Bible; serve Him through serving on the altar, singing in the choir, being a young usher or young lector or simply helping out in the church or at home whenever the need arises. It is by doing this that we can truly experience the  JOY that the birth of Jesus will bring on Christmas day and like Mary, proclaim the praises of God our Creator.  

December 8 – December 14, 2019 (2nd week of Advent)
Psalm 119:9
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your Word. 
The season of Advent is about preparing our hearts for the birth of Christ. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is holy. Therefore He is a perfect example for us as young people to strive to be pure in our hearts by turning away from our sins, the sins that separate us from Him   And we can only achieve purity by studying the Bible, the word of God on a daily basis.  (Please refer to Proverbs 6: 16-19 on the seven things that God hates and cannot tolerate).

December 1 – December 7, 2019 (1st week of Advent)
Eccleciastis 12:1
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “life is not pleasant anymore” 

We have entered into the season of Advent (December 1st, 2019 to December 24th, 2019), a time of preparation for the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. At the same time, the world sees this period as a time for decorating our homes, streets, schools; shopping for our favorite toys, best Christmas clothes and shoes; wrapping of gifts;  attending big and small Christmas parties, etc. As our Bible verse admonishes us this week, our advent season should also be one of remembrance of what Christmas is really about. Let us not make the excitement of Christmas make us forget the reason for the season!