Jesus will never reject any of us if we approach him no matter how young we may be. Jesus is always ready to embrace the impulsiveness of youth and work with it to help it grow into a mature faith and response to him. Jesus is not going to take the chance of losing someone due to inattention on his part. Therefore we never need to worry that he will not give us due attention when we approach him.

 

It is a joy to see young people surrendering their lives to the will and service of God. It is one of the best aspects of priestly ministry to be able to work with young people as they discover their faith and open their hearts to Jesus. It is normally a very rocky road that they walk as the world around them does not want to lose them to a life of holiness. It would much prefer that they surrender to the gods of materialism and consumerism and pleasure. The tentacles of the world are often very hard to resist and break.

 

The trouble comes when the youth do not feel welcomed by the Church and thus they go elsewhere to ‘find themselves’ often with disastrous results as the world is quick to offer alternatives such as partying, alcohol, drugs, sex and so on. The Church, and that means all of us who belong to the Church, must learn to be attentive to the needs of all the various groups in our midst. I for one, do not want to have to explain why I rejected someone who wanted to participate in the life of the Church for some spurious reason that was ultimately rooted in the inconvenience it might cause me.

 

Jesus embraced all who came to him and so should we. It is up to us to pray for the grace to be open to all and then act upon it. In this way the Church will be inclusive of all those who wish to follow Jesus as his disciples.

 

Jesus, you are always open to those who wish to be your disciples. Help me to be accepting of all who come to me for discipleship and help me to lead them all closer to you.