Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Being Lead  

World Youth Day in Köln, Deutschland has begun. Benedict XVI is continuing the work of his predecessor who started these wonderful occasions of bringing together young people in order that they might be drawn closer to Christ. The theme is taken from the words of the magi, "We have come to worship Him."

In a radio interview with the German portion of Vatican Radio prior to the World Youth Day, Benedict XVI had this to say regarding the work of encouraging young people to consider the claims of the Gospel:
“Holy Father, especially in our Nordic and rich countries, not only are more people turning away from the Church and the Faith, but it is especially the young people. What can one do to counter this and above all: how can one perhaps answer the fundamental question – What sense does my life have? – so that the youth will say: The Church is ‘the thing’ it is ‘our thing’!”

(laughs) Yes – we all try to bring the Gospel to young people, because this is the answer we have been waiting for. It is evident that many heavy burdens exist in out modern western society, driving us away from Christianity. Faith and God appear to be far away. Life itself is full of possibilities and tasks. First, one wants to grasp life on one’s own, to live it as fully as possible. I think of the “Prodigal Son” who thought his father’s house was boring, who thought he needed to take life on by the full, to seize hold of it and to enjoy it - until he noticed that it is really empty, and that he was free and great when he lived in his father’s house. So I think that, in any case, among young people the sentiment is spreading that all these diversions we are being offered and the entire leisure industry, in spite of everything that one does and can do, buy and can sell: This cannot be everything, that there must be something more about it. In this regard I believe that there is also a big question which could also be the essential one. It cannot be all, what we have or what we can buy. That is the reason why the so-called “market of religions” exists, which offers religion as a product and, hence, degrades it. But it is a sign that this question exists. To really understand this question and not just talk around it - not to put aside Christianity as something out of date or sufficiently exhausted, but precisely to let it be recognized as a possibility, because it came from God himself and is hence always a fresh possibility, it always carries and brings about new dimensions. The Lord says: He will lead you into things which He cannot tell you now. Christianity is full of undiscovered dimensions and it shows itself fresh and anew if one poses his questions again fundamentally. In other words: It is the meeting point of the question which is there and the answer which we are living, and through the question we receive it anew. This should be the event of the encounter between the proclamation of the Gospel and young people. “At the moment, I’m living with the feeling that Europe is more and more giving up, and that its human values founded in Christianity are counting less and less. Source
I zeroed in on his words, "The Lord says: He will lead you into things which He cannot tell you now. Christianity is full of undiscovered dimensions and it shows itself fresh and anew if one poses his questions again fundamentally." This reminds me of words that I heard some time ago in my college chapel. The speaker, whose name I cannot remember, made the point that you will be called by God to live out a life that is completely different than the lives of the people sitting around you. This is an obvious point, but one worth thinking about with regard to understanding the meaning of life and living out one's daily existence.

God has a special calling for each person that is unique to that person. It is not fair for me to compare my life to another's because my calling is unique and it is given within a unique set of circumstances. To compare, or worse to rashly judge someone, without considering this idea is lazy and arrogant. Jesus is leading us into a life that is nothing like what we consider life to be like. It is not full of the material trappings of Western culture. It is really a life filled with crosses and the joy that comes from carrying those crosses for Christ. My crosses will not be the same as anyone else's. He has "hand picked" the crosses I need to bear in order that I might become the very person He has called me to be.

Young people recognize that life is filled with these crosses because they are living in the midst of many difficulties in their own lives. They do not want cheap answers to their questions. Instead they hunger for the Truth Who is Jesus Christ. The Church through the World Youth Day is providing an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to touch the lives of many young men and women. It is this Holy Spirit that provided the connection between John Paul the Great and young people. It is this same Person of the Trinity Who will connect our present Holy Father with the youth gathered in Köln.

Posted by David at 12:45 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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