We continue with the theme, “His youth teaches us.” A very Ignatian piece of advice in this paragraph, to contemplate the “young Jesus.” I guess we oldsters will have to find someone else’s shoes to fit into in our mind’s eye.
31. Jesus does not teach you, young people, from afar or from without, but from within your very youth, a youth he shares with you. It is very important for you to contemplate the young Jesus as presented in the Gospels, for he was truly one of you, and shares many of the features of your young hearts.
And a long citation from the youth synod’s final document:
We see this for example in the following: “Jesus had unconditional trust in the Father; he maintained friendship with his disciples, and even in moments of crisis he remained faithful to them. He showed profound compassion for the weakest, especially the poor, the sick, sinners and the excluded. He had the courage to confront the religious and political authorities of his time; he knew what it was to feel misunderstood and rejected; he experienced the fear of suffering and he knew the frailty of the Passion. He turned his gaze to the future, entrusting himself into the Father’s safe hands in the strength of the Spirit. In Jesus, all the young can see themselves”.[FD 63]
It is not just a youth thing, but a human connection: to see how the Lord was incarnate in every way, becoming one of us. If we can’t easily place ourselves into the Gospel narratives, discipleship will be much more difficult. If we can, we will more easily see Jesus as friend, companion, and mentor. If not, the path to the Gospel mission may be more difficult.
Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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