Motivated by Real Hope


Youth is a blessing and a call to life, a phase not only marked by dreams and hopes, but also by experiences and options that shape a life project.




What does it mean, then, to be young? It will certainly be more than a transition phase between childhood and adulthood. But what is the specificity of youth? What distinguishes this phase from the others?

Youth is a phase of personality development, marked by dreams, experiences, and options that shape a life project. This is a challenging moment: A time to look and launch into the future without cutting roots and without abandoning those who, having already passed that stage, accompany the young person throughout the process.

In fact, without our feet on the ground, dreams become an illusion, a utopia, and without the possibility of concrete realization. On the contrary, hope lived with the boldness of ‘being young’ is marked by responsible discernment–accompanied and in view of an authentic future. In this case, hope becomes feasible and assumes itself as a blessing and gift from God.


Youth as a Blessing 
We know little about Jesus’ youth.  We do not know the events, but we can deduce that, like all young people, Jesus also lived His youth as a time of discernment, prayer and, without doubt, as a time of hope.

Let us look now at the episode of the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5, 21-24; 35-43), a passage that allows us to deepen the meaning of ‘being young’ from the encounter with Christ.

At the beginning of the narrative, Jairus’ daughter is spoken of as a girl (Mark 5, 39). However, the presence of Jesus shows her as a youth–Jesus calls her a girl (Mark 5, 41) and links this call to a responsibility, to an attitude towards life before her: “Girl, get up!” (Talitá Kum).

This is the challenge of the young person who assumes himself/herself as such, starting from the encounter with Christ: The young person leaves the comfortable inertia of the sofa and the apathy towards the circumstances that surround him/her, to get up hand in hand with Christ.

Getting up is never an easy process and one that always causes astonishment (Mark 5,42b) on those who have become accustomed to seeing the child and who are now frightened by the newness of the youth that is assumed and imposed.

However, it is important to remember that youth does not happen by chance! God is there! “Youth is a blessed time for the young and a grace for the Church and for the world. It is a joy, a song of hope and a blessing. Making the most of our youthful years entails seeing this season of life as worthwhile in itself, and not simply as a brief prelude to adulthood” (Christ Lives, no. 135).


From Dream To Hope
Youth is not compatible with the resignation to live by following others’ thoughts. Rather, it is a time of dream and true hope. During this period, despite challenges and uncertainties, the love of God– the encounter with Christ–manifests itself and accompanies the dreams of young people.

This accompaniment–so often personified by those who accompany the vocational discernment of young people–is not a time to restrict future horizons.

On the contrary, God’s love invites us to get up; to be responsible for the future that lies ahead of us; to live a more authentic life in the present, and move towards a happy future, no matter how hard the circumstances that surround us are.

On this responsibility of being young, Pope Francis warns of the fact that “opposed to these hopes and dreams that generate decisions, there is always the temptation to complain or give up.

“We can leave that to those who worship the ‘goddess of lament’… She is a false goddess; she makes you take the wrong road” (Christ Lives, no. 141).

The boldness of perseverance is characteristic of being young. However, it cannot succumb either to the temptation of the excesses of stubbornness, nor to be taken lightly–which would lead to living according to a deceptive perspective, typical of anxiety.

The results of the path of hope are not immediate! It takes determination, a lot of patience and, above all, a lot of love and faith in the One who calls us daily to live in harmony with our youth. Dreams fade if they don’t become true hope. Dreams, without hope, succumb to the desire for haste and the desire for the immediate.

Being young does not mean to ‘perform here and now’; rather, it means to ‘believe that it will come true’. The boldness to persevere precedes (and must always be greater) the boldness of doing! A house of paper is made in a few minutes. Whereas to make a house of stone takes months! The first, in a flash, falls apart. The second exists and remains for life.

This is what it means to be young: to live not for momentary pleasure, but for an authentic life of happiness. It is not only a question of telling a young person to give up the dream of ‘building a house’ but  also of building from the encounter with Christ in a durable way, a future that goes beyond any utopian dream.


Don’t Be Parked Cars
This path and durable construction can be covered! Therefore, let us not fail to hear and echo Pope Francis’ words: “Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus! Cast out the fears that paralyze you, so that you don’t become young mummies. Live! Give yourselves over to the best of life! Open the door of the cage, go out and fly! Please, don’t take early retirement” (Christ Lives, no. 143).

Share Your Thoughts

All comments are moderated

From The Same Issue

The articles and content about this issue

From The Same Issue

The articles and content about this issue

From This Topic

The articles and content about this topic

From This Topic

The articles and content about this topic

Explore Other Topics

Browse other coverage

Explore Other Topics

Browse other coverage


Presents, discusses and draws readers to reflect on issues of outmost relevance to the world today.


Very often, mission is carried out in frontier situations around the world. Those who embrace these situations have much to share.


Writer Ilsa Reyes will be exploring the richness of Pope Francis’s latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti with a view of helping our readers to get a grasp of the this beautiful papal document.


Puts to the front committed and inspiring people around the world who embrace humanitarian and religious causes with altruism and passion.


Focus on a given theme of interest touching upon social, economic and religious issues.


As the Philippines prepares to celebrate 500 years of the arrival of Christianity. Fr. James Kroeger leads us in this series into a discovery journey of the landmark events in the history of faith in the Philippine archipelago.


Aims to nurture and inspire our hearts and minds while pondering upon timely themes.


The large archipelago of the Philippines, in its richness of peoples and cultures, offers varied and challenging situations for mission.


Reflections and vocation stories that shape up the lives of young people.


As humor and goodness of heart are qualities of Christian and missionary life, the new column “Mission is fun” will be publishing some anecdotes and stories that have happened in a missionary context to lighten up the spirits and trigger a smile in our faces.


To help readers of World Mission live this year dedicated to Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, Tita Puangco, writer and lecturer, shares in this section insights on the spirituality of communion.


A historic view of the Catholic movements that emerged from the grassroots as an inspiration by the Holy Spirit.


On the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, radio host and communicator Ilsa Reyes, in her monthly column, encourages Christians and people of good will to be one with their fellow people of other sects, religions and tribes.


Questions to a personality of the Church or secular world on matters of interest that touch upon the lives of people.


News from the Church, the missionary world and environment that inform and form the consciences.


A feature on environmental issues that are affecting the whole world with the view of raising awareness and prompting action.


The editor gives his personal take on a given topic related to the life of the Church, the society or the world.


A monthly column on themes touching the lives of young people in the Year of the Youth in the Philippines by radio host and communicator I lsa Reyes.


A missionary living in the Chinese world shares his life-experiences made up of challenges and joyous encounters with common people.


Life stories of people who deserve to be known for who they were, what they did and what they stood for in their journey on earth.


Stories of people whom a missionary met in his life and who were touched by Jesus in mysterious ways.


Critical reflection from a Christian perspective on current issues.


Comboni missionary Fr. Lorenzo Carraro makes a journey through history pinpointing landmark events that changed the course of humanity.


A biographical sketch of a public person, known for his/her influence in the society and in the Church, showing an exemplary commitment to the service of others.


Gives fresh, truthful, and comprehensive information on issues that are of concern to all.


A column aimed at helping the readers live their Christian mission by focusing on what is essential in life and what it entails.


Peoples, events, religion, culture and the society of Asia in focus.


The human heart always searches for greatness in God’s eyes, treading the path to the fullness of life - no matter what it takes.


The subcontinent of India with its richness and variety of cultures and religions is given center stage.


The African continent in focus where Christianity is growing the fastest in the world.


Well-known writer and public speaker, Fr. Jerry Orbos, accompanies our journey of life and faith with moments of wit and inspiration based on the biblical and human wisdom.


On the year dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyala, Fr. Lorenzo Carraro walks us through the main themes of the Ignatian spirituality.


Fr. John Taneburgo helps us to meditate every month on each of the Seven Last Words that Jesus uttered from the cross.


In this section, Fr. Lorenzo delves into the secrets and depths of the Sacred Scriptures opening for us the treasures of the Sacred Book so that the reader may delight in the knowledge of the Word of God.


Reflections about the synodal journey on a conversational and informal style to trigger reflection and sharing about the synodal path the Church has embarked upon.

Shopping Cart