It is the youth who will receive the torch from the elders
The risen Christ sent his disciples forth to bear witness to His saving presence before all the nations, Now, let us make God’s desire our own! World Youth Day pilgrims – open your eyes and look around you. So many young people no longer see any meaning in their lives. The “nations” that we are invited to reach out to on youth day are not only other countries in the world – they are also the different areas of our lives, such as our families, communities, places of study and work and friends.
History shows how many young people, by their generous gift of self, made a great contribution to the Kingdom of God and the development of this world by proclaiming the Gospel. One example which comes to mind is Blessed José de Anchieta. He was a young Spanish Jesuit of the 16th century who went as a missionary to Brazil before he was 20 years old and became a great apostle of the New World.
Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good, and have a hard time finding their way. Generally, however, young people look at the difficulties of our world and ask themselves: is there anything I can do?
The church, in continuing this mission of evangelisation, is also counting on us as the first missionaries amongst our contemporaries! At the end of the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI consigned a message to the youth of the world.
“It is to you, young men and women of the world that the council wishes to address its final message. For it is you who are to receive the torch from the hands of your elders and to live in the world at the period of the most massive transformations ever realised in its history. It is you who, taking up the best of the example and the teaching of your parents and your teachers, will shape the society of tomorrow. You will either be saved or perish with it”.
This invitation remains timely. We are passing through a very particular period of history. Technical advances have given us unprecedented possibilities for interaction between people and nations. But the globalisation of these relationships will be positive and help the world to grow in humanity only if it is founded on love rather than on materialism.
Lebo WA Majahe