Young adults are the disciples of this generation

April 11, 2017

Need inspiration? Look to young adults. Searching for Christ’s Love in the Church? Look to young adults. Need love itself? Look to young adults. Looking for Spiritual guidance? Run to young adults!

In Chris Lowney’s novel “Pope Francis, Why He Leads the Way He Leads,” the team of campus ministers for the Archdiocese Campus Ministry department reflect of Lowney’s insight on the essential role of Young Adults within our society.

Today our world is shaped with the fight to leave true emotions behind, be someone they’re not, otherwise, not connect to emotions and not rise to our full spiritual potential. But what I have seen and what I have experienced, I say young adults caught a fib. They are running toward the Holy Spirit and His spiritual guidance.

If we take a moment to observe and listen, we may find the dynamic inspiration this generation has brought to the Catholic Church.

It has been my honor for the past year to work for the Archdiocese as the director of Campus Ministry at Sam Houston State University, Catholic Student Center. With Easter season quickly approaching, students from the Catholic Student Center hurried to prepare our Ash Wednesday service on Sam Houston State University campus.

In the midst of preparation, whispers scurried by of “what are you giving up?” “I gave that up last year, I feel as though God is calling me to more this year…” As I overheard, I was stopped in my tracks. As if the students could ever not amaze me, I was left speechless yet again.

How could young adults be lost if they have such a yearning for greatness? Society might be made up of many distractions in bringing us closer to Christ, but I believe that even in the midst of distractions these young adults are on their way to finding the answers. 

Young adults have a deep aspiration for something more, knowing that alone, society cannot provide that. They ask themselves where to find it and just as these students stated, they know it is through letting go of self wants in order to be consumed by something more, something better, Christ Himself. 

I have witnessed this passion to do something greater within them time and time again. But I know if I don’t listen then that halts our building of the Kingdom. As campus ministers, Lowney encourages us to build up our young adults; to listen to those small inclinations they have and build upon them.

To listen and encourage them, knowing that God can mold that into who they’re called to be. It is our job to listen. It is our job to build them up. It is our job to take something they say as, “I think called God called me to do more,” and challenge them to do it.

I believe these young adults are telling us something. They’re listening to the calling to do more, to want to be someone, but not just within society, but more; they are listening to God’s invitation to love. I believe we can learn a lot from them. Their love for each other, their acceptance of this world and the struggles it may bring.

I believe we can learn by the way they come together and challenge one another. They have such a drive to help others. The way they asked each other what they were giving up for Lent might seem so small, but it is so great. It shows their drive to want to be better, to be someone, and to do something greater. And even more than that, it shows God working. Sometimes we can get so lost looking at the hurts of society that we miss the glorious ways in which the Holy Spirit is within all of us.

Pope Francis and Lowney are right, this generation’s young adults are different, but in the best way; they’re disciples of acceptance, love, spirituality and determination to want to know more. Little by little, if we listen and encourage these young adults — even if we’re unsure ourselves — maybe we just might find this generation’s disciples. Maybe we might find what we’re needing to make a change, to connect to God and be everything we are called to be. 

Allison Reynolds is the director of Campus Ministry at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.