178. Don’t think that this mission is soft and easy. Some young people have given their lives for the sake of missionary outreach. As the Korean bishops put it: “we hope that we can be grains of wheat and instruments for the salvation of humanity, following upon the example of the martyrs. Though our faith is as small as a mustard seed, God will give it growth and use it as an instrument for his work of salvation”.[Catholic Bishops Conference of Korea, Pastoral Letter on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Martyrdom during the Byeong-in Persecution (30 March 2016)]
Martyrdom and persecution are rarities in the First World. That isn’t to say that day-to-day life doesn’t present a Christian with occasional challenges. These can be moments of conscience, or person-to-person confrontation. Moral people outside of the Church, even non-believers, can find themselves torn between the easy path and the upright way. It is also true that Christians can indulge in cloddish behavior, even bullying, and be confronted by others about it. People with a sense of sin will find their consciences pricked. Self-righteous folk can and do misinterpret this as religious persecution.
Young friends, don’t wait until tomorrow to contribute your energy, your audacity and your creativity to changing our world. Your youth is not an “in-between time”. You are the now of God, and he wants you to bear fruit.[Cf. Homily at Mass, XXXIV World Youth Day in Panama (27 January 2018): L’Osservatore Romano, 28-29 January 2019, 12] For “it is in giving that we receive”.[“Lord, make me a channel of your peace”, prayer inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi] The best way to prepare a bright future is to experience the present as best we can, with commitment and generosity.
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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