About 200 young people attended Vivid: Pentecost 2010 at St Thomas More College, Sunnybank, on May 22, when ARCHBISHOP JOHN BATHERSBY of Brisbane launched his 2010 Pentecost pastoral message for young people. This is his message
MY dear young people, the Christian religion is absolutely the greatest gift we could ever receive. What is it all about? First and foremost it is about God and who God is. The most perfect definition is that God is love.
Well, then, who does God love? It seems strange but mysterious to say our God is a triune God, a three-person God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, who live in a communion of love with all three persons mutually loving one another.
However, God’s incredible love overflowed to such an extent that God then created our universe and world through love. As the popular song says so beautifully, “Love makes the world go round”.
But even more, God, out of love, brought into existence all living creatures including ourselves made in the image and likeness of God. But why, oh why, did God make us?
It is amazing that He did so, simply because He loves us. Each and every one of us exists because we are loved. All of us are different because God made us different but God loves us equally because we are all God’s children.
We are all talented in one way or another because God wants us to play a role made especially for us, whether we are made with great or less talent. It doesn’t really matter what talent we possess because in God’s plan we are all equal.
Each one has a role to play and it doesn’t matter how big or small we are, or how intelligent or not. All of us are loved equally by God.
But how do we come to know that God is love? We know God is love because God sent His Son, the second person of the Trinity, to live with us as Jesus, true God and true man, in order to show us what God is like.
Then through His life, death and resurrection He created a new world in which we can live and become new people by leading lives of love.
Is that difficult? Of course it is, but we exist because we are loved by God who wants us to live lives of love, loving God, ourselves, all people, and of course loving God’s marvellous world.
Is that difficult? No, because we can make God’s world a world full of life and love with large or small acts of love, with a smile, with an act of forgiveness, or an act of kindness, or even with a protest against poverty and injustice.
Once we live in the loving body of Christ, the Church, then we are able to go out day by day to make the world a better place.
Is there evil in the world? Of course there is but because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus evil can never again conquer the world, because the goodness of Jesus has conquered evil.
We meet the risen Jesus in a thousand ways, in other people, in the communion of people at Mass, and in the body and blood of Christ we receive.
To stay in touch with God, Jesus, and God’s Holy Spirit, we need to be people of prayer who can go out to change the world, then to return for the love of Jesus in the Eucharist only to go out again to meet Jesus in the world, and to perform acts of love.
Does God help us in all this? Of course God does. God sent the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of life to deepen our lives with love in a simple act of remembrance, an act of prayer, an act of support, an act of kindness, an act of peace.
Once we grasp the meaning of God’s vision we will never again be sad because we will be living in God’s love and God’s marvellous world. Above all, despite our crosses we will be happy.
Has Jesus left us forever? No. Jesus is with us always and the risen Jesus will return once again to the world in all his glory.
When will that happen? We don’t know. Only then, provided we have lived lives of love, each and every one of us will experience our own resurrection and the fullness of God’s love in the joy and happiness of heaven, where we will live once again in the midst of God’s communion of saints many of whom we have already met in this life.
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