Does the Church pay attention? Like people, we get easily distracted. Young people often get blamed for short attention spans–video games and all. But missing the boat is not a young thing. Pope Francis explores the theme “A Church attentive to the signs of the times,” and we begin with paragraph 39 and a reference to the final synod document:
39. “Even though to many young people, God, religion and the Church seem empty words, they are sensitive to the figure of Jesus when he is presented in an attractive and effective way”.[FD 50] Consequently, the Church should not be excessively caught up in herself but instead, and above all, reflect Jesus Christ. This means humbly acknowledging that some things concretely need to change, and if that is to happen, she needs to appreciate the vision but also the criticisms of young people.
When people respond more deeply to Jesus than to the Church (be it parish, institution, celebrity, or some other aspect) then it is our missionary duty to present Jesus. And stay out of the way. One illustration I’ve used with training liturgical ministers is as follows. Some people are bright, beautiful, and attractive. Pretty like colored stained glass in the church. Light comes through, but the color draws the eye. A liturgical minister should be like a clear pane of glass, allowing Jesus to shine through directly, and in all other ways. The minister removes herself or himself from the picture, allows Christ to be the picture.
Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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