WALKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
Blessed are those who walk with God and the most Blessed are those with whom God walks! Blessed are those who seek God and the most Blessed are those whom God seeks! There has been no other reason for jotting this vocational letter other than this, ‘that God Found Me and He walks Beside Me’.
Day after day I find more meaning in exploring the face of God with the people I acquaint, in the sacraments I minister and in the young people I animate. At times in my vocational journey when I meet senior priests or persons with huge experiences shrug their shoulders and raise their eyebrows and exclaim ho! How come you, young man found the call of God very early in your life! To all of them I responded saying, it is not I who sought God but God who sought me. It is not I who walked with God but God who walks with me daily.
People searched for God within the four walls of churches, but God searched for me beyond the walls of the church, found me in the beautiful street of Kaverynagar, Tamilnadu, India. Yes! to all who glance through my vocational experiences now, what I want to share is that, “God is busy looking for you and He is walking beside you. All that we need to do is to let Him accompany us in our faith journey.”
To all young people whom I come in contact with, I keep telling that “God seeks for you and do not conceal yourself from Him and even if you try to take cover yourself from God, then he will find you as he found Moses and Jonna”.
Due to the sway of the media platform time and again, I heed from some of the youth facilitators expressing that young people are trapped by the social media and they are plunged into their hand phones and they have no time for Church. But with a mind set of the youngling, without prejudice, if we could get into the shoes of them perhaps, we truly realize and recognize that today’s youngsters do find Sacred Books more interesting than the Facebook, teens and youth are preoccupied not only about the Whatscall but also about the God’s Call. They make their Party into Prayers and their Prayers into Party. Youngsters find Jesus in their friends and their friends in Jesus. Young people are convinced that their queries are better answered by God than Google. Young people find God daily in their life, they find meaning in remaining faithful to the faith they profess. Their faith is expressed not through dogmatical speculations but through practical life occurrences.
A Couple of years ago, I encountered a young man who surprised me asking, father why do we Christians (Catholics) fight? If we believe that Jesus is truly living in the bread we receive then how come we don’t recognize the presence of Jesus in each other and we practise enmity day by day? I stamp these words here that this is the attitude of a true believer who walks the Gospel Principles in his daily life. Such is the brain storming questions and reflections of youth about the condition of the Church today.
Young people in the Church already realized that they are the present and the future of the Church. Therefore, as good faith facilitators and youth animators, today we have a greater responsibility in walking with them and accompanying them in their faith journey with an attitude of positivity as Jesus walked, Accompanied and Empowered His unstable disciple on the Road to Emmaus.
Finally, I would like to give an end note to my sharing with the words of John Henry Newman, which befits well for all the faith formators, “Lead, kindly light, amidst the encircling gloom, lead thou me on! Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me…lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God; Lead Thou Me On…”
May God be our destiny for ever and ever! Thank You! … Lovingly,
Fr. Kulanthai Selvan CMF
Vocational Letter, October 2018