21 July 2010 Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 1, 1-10; Psalm 71; Matthew 13, 1-9
For more than 30 years, I have worked with and for the young. In those years, I experienced their potential. I can say with conviction that I have seen more miracles with them than with the aged. They have the unimaginable energy and a wide range of talents and abilities that what is deem to be impossible for the elderly could be made into reality with them. They can enliven worship. They can run sustainable outreach programs. And they can serve the Lord with joy! They say, a parish or a church without the young will soon die.
The readings today tells us that the Lord calls the young to ministry. When the Lord called Jeremiah to be a prophet, he said he was too young for the job. Jeremiah said, “Ah Lord, I know not how to speak; I am too young.” And the Lord answered, “Say not, ‘I am too young.’ To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you.”
And what was Jeremiah’s job? The Lord touched Jeremiah’s mouth, saying, “See, I placed my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms; To root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.” The mission of the young Jeremiah was greater than he thought!
But Jeremiah was not the only one called to such a mission. Timothy was also young when Paul asked him to lead one of their new Christian communities (2 Tim 1, 1-7)
To those who are in the later half of their lifetime, this is an eye opener for us who believe we know the world and the young are not yet ripe to take on the role of evangelization. When we are approaching or have gone beyond the golden years, I believe our mission is to be like God who entrusts the mission to change the world to those who have the superhero energy needed for it. We are asked to give as much opportunity to our children to develop their leadership potential to bring the world into how the Lord envisions it to be. Our mission is the work of encouragement.
Pope Benedict XVI said that the new missionary frontier is the internet. Our young spend more time in cyberspace. At present, they are in social media. They are experts in this new revolution. Perhaps this is the time to see a new application for the Parable of the Sower. We can throw the seeds of the Gospel in the fields of cyberspace. There is great possibility that someone who walks through that universe can stumble on one of our growing seeds.
To the young, you have more potential than you think you have. Like Jeremiah. Who can imagine that a young person will not just affect his generation, but the world as well?
Proof: we are finding his life and his preaching worthy of our attention now.