- “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
This past weekend I had the pleasure of being with the young members of our community who are preparing to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation. We were on retreat together at Camp Tekawitha. During the retreat we played games, listened to music, prayed, celebrated the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, reflected on God’s love for us and his call to discipleship. It was time away from the daily activities of life to reflect on who we are as disciples of Jesus. It was a time of prayer, a time of play, and a time of reflection. We were building our youth (and even this old Parish Director) for the future.
Many of the more powerful moments of the retreat came through the witness talks given by members of our community. I am amazed at how faith-filled this community of disciples is. Several of you came up to Camp Tek to share your experience of being a disciple with these young people. That is how we build our youth for the future. By honestly sharing our gifts and struggles we grow deeper as disciples. Together we build our community. Together we face the future.
And the future (like the present) needs strong disciples. We need disciples who are clear-headed enough to see the challenges facing us. We need disciples who are strong enough to resist the temptations facing us. Most importantly, we need disciples who can love radically enough to overcome whatever we face. We need disciples who build our life on the rock of Jesus’ teaching (cf. Mt. 7:24).
The youth of our parish are seeking authentic faith. They are wise and compassionate beyond their years. They are concerned about the future. They are filled with the Spirit of God.
Together with these wonderful candidates for Confirmation, we are building our community for the future. As disciples, we build each other up and face the future together.