Pope Francis has dedicated the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be focused on the theme of “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” It will be held in Rome in October 2018. The Preparatory Document describes the purpose of the General Assembly as an opportunity for the Church “to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective way to announce the Good News today.”

Invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer

Just A Closer Walk With Thee Chorus: Just a closer walk with thee Grant it, Jesus, is my plea Daily walking close to thee Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

I am weak but thou art strong Jesus, keep me from all wrong I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee
Through this world of toil and snares
If I falter, Lord, who cares
Who, with me, my burdens share
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee
When my feeble life is over Time for me shall be no more When I cross the Jordan’s shore
I will walk, dear Lord, close to Thee
In Part 3 of the preparatory document for the Synod of Bishops, a number of key points on how the Christian community can journey with young people today has been described. We will examine three points for today’s reflection.

1. Walking with young people
Accompanying young people requires going beyond any preconceived structures and mindset. Young people must be encountered where they are and we have to adapt to their times and pace of life and take them seriously. This is to be done as young people seek to make sense of the reality in which they live and seek in their daily lives to create a personal history and in the search for meaning in their lives. The document states that, “every community needs to give importance to creative ways of addressing young people in a personal way and supporting personal development.” This is about “going out, seeing, and calling. It’s about going to where they are, spending time with them, learning about them and calling them as Jesus did.”

2. Accepting young people as agents
In any pastoral activity, young people are not objects but agents. Often, society tends to see them as “non-essential or inconvenient”. The Church cannot reflect such an attitude, because all young people, without exception, have the right to be guided in life’s journey.” The document states that, “communities must be attentive to young people, especially those who are in certain difficulties. The entire Church is responsible for educating and guiding young people”.

3. The entire community must feel responsible for the young
The entire Christian community must feel the responsibility of educating the young. In fact, those who are involved in this work deserve to be given recognition, starting with those who have assumed this responsibility within Church. The efforts of those who witness to the Gospel and share the joy that flows from it should be admired as well. In addition, the Church has to give importance to young people’s involvement in the diocesan and parish communities, starting with pastoral councils. Young people should be invited to make their creative contribution and accepting their ideas, even when they appear challenging.

(To read the full document, go to: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20170113_documento-preparatorio-xv_en.html)
Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person.
What does it mean that the Christian community should “go out, seeking and calling” young people?
How do you think young people in the parish or BEC are viewed by the elders or senior members?
Are young people in the parish or BEC invited to contribute their ideas? If they do, are they views and ideas accepted?

Biblical Text: Luke 24: 30-33
1. Read the text two or three times
2. Be in silence with the text – read
silently by your own
3. What words or phrase caught your
attention? Write it down
4. (Choose only one from #3): What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Write it down
5. Share in small groups (3-4 persons) on #3 and #4

In general, do young people participate in our BEC gatherings? If yes, why? If no, why not?
In what way(s) can we, as adult members of the BEC, show our care and support to young people in our BEC/parish/community even if they may not be actively participating in our BEC gatherings?

Dedicate a prayer for the young people in the BEC and in the Church at large.

Hail, Queen of Heaven
1. Hail, Queen of heav’n, the ocean star. Guide the wand’rer here below! Thrown on life’s surge we claim thy care. Save us from peril and from woe. Mother of Christ, Star of the sea, Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

2. O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid, We sinners make our prayers thro’ thee. Remind thy Son that He has paid The price of our iniquity. Virgin most pure, Star of the sea, Pray for the sinner, pray for me.

3. Sojourners in this vale of tears, To thee, blest advocate, we cry. Oh, pity our sorrows, calm our fears. And soothe with hope our misery. Refuge in grief, Star of the sea, Pray for the mourner, pray for me.




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