This paragraph and the three that follow look at the theme, “His youth teaches us.” This is a basic approach many find fruitful: imitating Christ. Let’s read of three aspects of personal growth:
30. These aspects of Jesus’ life can prove inspiring for all those young people who are developing and preparing to take up their mission in life. This involves growing
- in a relationship with the Father,
- in awareness of being part of a family and a people,
- and in openness to being filled with the Holy Spirit and led to carry out the mission God gives them, their personal vocation.
This is a key point, especially for parishes that have separated youth and young adult ministry to any degree:
None of this should be overlooked in pastoral work with young people, lest we create projects that isolate young people from their family and the larger community, or turn them into a select few, protected from all contamination. Rather, we need projects that can strengthen them, accompany them and impel them to encounter others, to engage in generous service, in mission.
My sense is that projects ranging from Catholic high schools, to LifeTeen, to campus ministry, to theology on tap certainly do bear fruit. The question remains: do they do too good a job of cultivating a separation not only from the world, but from other age groups? The answer requires careful discernment in parishes and other communities in which young people find themselves apart from those younger and older.
Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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