Monday, August 22, 2005
Appealing to the Youth  

Before World Youth Day, many were wondering whether Benedict XVI could have the same appeal to today's youth as did John Paul the Great. Journalists who were trying to find a story, would interview young people to get their take on the new pope compared to his predecessor. A number of the responses focused on Benedict XVI based on his work as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Consequently, he was described as being too conservative. Or, it was noted that he had too much of a reputation of being a vicious guard dog. As a result, some of the consensus was that this 78-year-old pope would not have the ability to appeal to young people.

Exactly. I think Benedict XVI would be the first to admit that he certainly does not have the ability to appeal to young people. I think John Paul the Great would admit the same deficiency. In fact, he said almost as much when he was asked what was the reason that he, an older man, had such a rapport with young people. Pope John Paul II did not reply in the way that might make sense to some folks who are only looking for the angle on what is happening. Instead, he simply answered that it really was all due to the Holy Spirit.

That is why Benedict XVI has also been able to reach the youth, which was demonstrated by this World Youth Day 2005. The Holy Spirit has worked through him, even as He worked through John Paul the Great. He simply works through the very gifts that He has given these two pontiffs. They are different sets of gifts because each man is different. But it is the same Holy Spirit who is able to make the connection between the Successor of Peter and the young people. Both men have made themselves available to God, and God has used that obedience to share Himself with young and old alike.

This work of the Holy Spirit really is a beautiful thing to witness. It is also a tremendous thing to reflect upon because we too, are called to share Christ. The Lord knows that I cannot do it; and I would be foolish if I did not admit that I cannot do it. However, all He asks is that I make myself and the talents which He gave me available for Him to work through. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit.

Posted by David at 2:45 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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