ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby of Brisbane has likened youth ministry to the work of the apostles.
He was speaking at the second commissioning Mass for the Archdiocesan Ministry with Young People on May 21.
Archbishop Bathersby said the commissioning Mass was not an “empty ritual” but an occasion to ask the Holy Spirit “to come down upon the commission and upon the youth ministers of this archdiocese to make them all in the literal sense ‘missioners’, that is, people who will burn with a sense of taking Good News to others, by planning, working and praying together about strategies that will help them do so”.
He said the apostles were commissioned by the risen Christ to go out to the world and promote the reign of God.
“The Acts of the Apostles today shows Peter doing precisely that – pushing the boundaries of his world as he reaches out not only to his own Jewish people, but also to the pagans, and finding there, to his utter amazement, people open to the Spirit of God,” he said.
Archbishop Bathersby said people talked so much about The Da Vinci Code, and yet the Gospels were filled with an excitement that even 1 million Da Vinci Codes could not possibly equal.
“Christ constantly challenges his apostles to ‘open their eyes’, and when they did so, and when we do so, we discern an incredible world of love open to everyone.
“That is our task my brothers and sisters ‘to see God’s world’ and then ‘to share it with others’.”
More than 200 young people, representing the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland, Catholic school ministry groups, the Passionist Retreat Team, Emmanuel Youth Outreach, NET (National Evangelisation Team) Ministries, Edmund Rice Camps, Young Carmelites, the archdiocesan Youth and Children’s Ministry team and parishes, attended the Mass in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
The commissioning Mass, an initiative of the Archdiocesan Commission for Ministry with Young People, was a way for the Church to acknowledge the contribution of groups, movements and individuals who worked in the vital field of youth ministry.
Commission chairman Greg Sunter said the day was a wonderful recognition of all the people who engaged in ministry with young people in schools, parishes, movements and organisations across the archdiocese.
The Mass was followed by a photographic exhibition showcasing the various opportunities for young people to be involved in social justice and spiritual programs in the Church.
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