- Religion and Philosophy
Would Jesus Be Happy With Your Facebook or Instagram Page?
National Catholic Youth Conference
Transformation in Christ
I attended NCYC in Indianapolis as a chaperone for our church teen group. Our two daughters, Alissa and Noelle along with 23,500 teens from all across the US, including Alaska and Hawaii were also in attendance. The speakers challenged our youth in word and in song to go out go out to all the world and tell the good news. We were asked, "Would Jesus be happy with your Facebook or Instagram page?"
I was thinking, “Did this conference truly transform me and the youth? If we were being transformed by the presence of Christ in the conference, what results should it yield?
Some Dance Moves
Questions For Our Youth
The conference inspired many of the teens to dance and to chant, “I believe in Jesus Christ! We love Jesus, yes we do, we love Jesus, how about you?" But were they caught up in the moment or were they being transformed?
I looked for evidence that our youth might be yielding results, that is, displaying the fruits of the Holy Spirit. They are so full of life and energy. Were they showing the joy and love of Christ? Were our teens conducting themselves in a worthy manner? Were the well-behaved actions of our teens so profound that the chaperones and ushers at the stadium were being touched and evangelized?
What about when they returned to their hotel rooms? Were they being respectful of their roommates? Were they keeping their voice volume down, cleaning up after themselves and avoiding inappropriate material on their TVs? Or on their electronic devices?
For our group of teens, I believe that overall, the answer to those questions is yes. Perhaps they were not perfect and its hard to know for certain. However, I found our teen group to be respectful and responsible.
So What About You?
Would Jesus be happy with your Facebook or Instagram page?
Questions For Myself and Adults
Perhaps more importantly, I began to look for signs of transformation in myself. The Spirit of the Lord worked on me in the halls of the conference center. It gave me great joy to see hundreds of priests and religious in attendance. Whenever a priest or bishop passed by, I thought about the inspirational words of a holy person who said, “Greet and treat priests better than if an angel of heaven were to appear before you. For an angel cannot transform bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Only a priest can.”
As a result of those words of wisdom, I smiled at every priest I saw in the hall. Some of them saw me smiling at them, others didn’t. What’s more, most adults and youth let them pass by without much of any acknowledgement. Do they not realize that someone greater than an angel had just passed by them? Do they realize that priests bring them the very Presence of Christ at every Mass? I began to pray that I could cherish this moment and hope that others would grow in their love for priests.
Bringing it Home: Where the Rubber Hits the Road
Beyond the walls of the conference center, how else might I myself be transformed? Can I display my renewed spirit of joy and enthusiasm within the walls of my own home? How might I show the love of Christ that I experienced to my very own family? They say charity begins at home.
I couldn’t wait to share the uplifting moments with my family members. I rehearsed what I was going to say. Yet, it has always been the pattern for me that whenever I have a deep spiritual moment with Christ, the Evil One will counter attack. God seems to allow Satan to try our patience. After all, love is patient.
On the return trip, there was a long line for lunch at the fast food restaurant and traffic delays. Moreover, some family members at home were not at the height of their joy when we arrived. I was prepared to share the moments we had with Christ, but they were not ready to receive them.
To top it off, I needed to use the restroom as soon as we arrived home. The toilet on the lower level was clogged. So I hurried to use the one on the second level. It too was clogged. In all of this, how was I to react? What would Jesus do?
Without growing angry, I quickly plunged the problem away and used the facility. After having the thought that whoever clogged the other toilet should clear it, I went ahead and plunged it myself. I then enjoyed a meal with my family. I thanked my wife for preparing it and told her how tasty it was. Matters seemed to be settling down when upon attempting to begin our family prayer time, arguments erupted among our children. I approached them with patience.
God helped me realize that this is where the rubber hits the road. If I were transformed by the love of Christ in this conference, I need to allow Him into the most challenging moments of my life and let Him shine through with patient perseverance.
Our Daughter's Reaction: It Was Amazing!
Despite temptations and trials, our daughter Noelle posted THIS on her Facebook page: “I had the most amazing four days of my life with people from all over the U.S at NCYC. It was amazing to see the thousands of teens come together to express and grow in their faith. All of the speakers were amazing and very enlightening! I met so many people and had an amazing time while growing in my faith! Thank you to everyone who made that even possible because you have touched over 23,000 teenagers lives! I pray that God helps me spread His love to everyone I encounter!”
Great job Noelle! You showed us an example of a post Jesus would be happy to see on a Facebook or Instagram page! Let us pray that conferences such as these, whether they be for youth or adults will transform us so that we can yield the results of Christ’s love especially when using social media.