“Wake up the world to a Gospel way of living.” Bishop Rice quoted Pope Francis to wake up the teens this morning to their new mission.
Bishop Rice called upon the young men and women to leave behind their baggage– their “superficial trappings,” according to Pope Francis– and embark on a new journey. We will still have our crosses to bear, but we are called to invite Christ, as well as our brothers and sisters, into our lives to help us bear the load. But we need to let go of the things that are weighing us down. Baggage can come in the forms of sin, judging others, and clinging to worldly things.
However, when we reject worldly things, we are not free to leave the world completely behind. Bishop Rice calls on all of us to become saints, “living in the world but not of the world.” He paraphrased Pope John Paul II, saying that we need “21st century saints” who wear jeans, listen to popular music, are committed to the poor, and pursue holiness. Bishop Rice called for saints who are “social, normal, friendly, happy,” and he believes that Steubenville Mid-America holds a wealth of those saints.
Bishop Rice wasn’t going to send the teens blindly into the world after this whirlwind weekend. He had one basic resolution for the teens to carry with them into the world: “Never miss Mass.” Since the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, it is imperative that we draw strength from the Body of Christ to continue on the journey.
The Eucharist is the perfect physical way to let Jesus be our companion on the journey. It fills us with the Holy Spirit, so that, by God, we can be saints.
“Let go of the things we think we need. In letting go, we are open to the things that Jesus wants to give us.”
“If you have extra baggage, you have to pay for it… It’s costly and it will pull you down in sin.”
“In the cross is victory… We are called to glory in the cross of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”