Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Beloved: Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity." 1Tm 4:12

It is not easy being a young person today. In any society. In any religion.

If you live in the Middle East, you are either being courted by a national military or a radical, violent group.

If you live in Columbia you are being courted by right-wing paramilitaries or left-wing rebel groups.

If you live anywhere in the world, you face peer pressure and doubt.

Child soldiers, suicide bombers, drug experimentation, sexual exploitation-- when did the world decide to become so difficult for people in the most volatile time of their young lives?

I often cringe if I hear an older person criticizing the youth for things such as not holding a door open for a lady or having one too many earrings or orange hair. If these are the worst things you can find wrong with someone (and they are all superficial) you are lucky.

I have even heard these things said in plain earshot of the "offender" who was volunteering at a church function or charity event.

I'm not saying all young people need to be given a pass. But when we read St. Paul's letter to Timothy, it doesn't say anywhere that you have to model through physical appearance but through, "speech, conduct, faith and purity." So, before you criticize a teenager or person in their early 20s for receiving communion in jeans, remember, they have made it a point to receive this gift from God. And their conduct is modeling a good Christian life.

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