It is indeed a blessed time. We stand on the threshold of the Jubilee Year 2000, a time to look back and be ever more thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ, as well as a time to look forward to the blessings and challenges of being faithful Christians in the Third Millennium. We are a people filled with the spirit of hope to make a difference in the world, and are willing to spread that hope to all we encounter.
Our young people, in their own way, lead us on the journey. It is their hope that provides inspiration. It is their vision of what can be that we count on. It is their energy, enthusiasm, and perseverance that can inspire the rest us to bring the Good News to a world that longs for such a message, and Jesus Christ IS the Good News.
Those who count themselves among the young have much to teach us. Theirs is a generation open to and aware of the richness of diversity as no other generation before them. Theirs is a generation that searches deeply for truth in a world often marked by unacceptable substitutes. In a world of "virtuality," theirs is a generation that longs for relationships and sees the need and gift of presence. Theirs is a generation of deep spirituality, one that calls forth the richness of tradition and ritual. Theirs is a generation of hope, invitation, and community.
So let us journey together at this historical juncture. Let us offer one another words that rouse us into a life of faith and action. Let us together bring the Kingdom of God into our work, play, and relationships, for it is together that we form the Body of Christ and together we will cross into the Jubilee Year 2000 and beyond. Let us not take this historical moment for granted. We are truly blessed to be alive to usher in the year 2000 and celebrate the ultimate Gift, Jesus Christ. We are a blessed people called to announce this year of favor. It is indeed a blessed time.
Roger L. Schwietz, OMI
Bishop of Duluth
Chair, Youth Subcommittee