This upcoming October, Pope Francis will hold a Synod on the Youth in Rome in order to better evangelize the young people in a world that has become more apathetic towards the Catholic faith. A preliminary document was sent out around the world asking young people about what topics that they would like the Synod to address. The Vatican stated that “the young person of today is met with a host of external and internal challenges and opportunities, many of which are specific to their individual contexts and some of which are shared across continents. In light of this, it is necessary for the Church to examine the way in which it thinks about and engages with young people in order to be an effective, relevant and life-giving guide throughout their lives.” In order for the Church to effectively evangelize young people, it must understand the challenges and trials that today’s youth encounter on a daily basis.
As the preliminary document is being drawn up, perhaps something new and innovative is not always the best solution to solve the ills that plague young people in our society. When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he asked his Apostles to accompany him and watch with him for an hour. In today’s society, it is not easy to sit still to watch and wait, because of modern technology we have everything at our fingertips. If we wish to accompany youth to teach them about Jesus Christ, then we need to teach them about the Cross of Christ, what it means to sacrifice and then challenge them to follow, instead of sitting back waiting for something to happen. Today’s youth have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but it needs to be directed towards the Cross of Christ and not away from it. Jesus said that when he is lifted up upon the Cross, that he will draw all men and women up to Himself.