We Have a Responsibility to Inspire Young People to Become Influencers of the Gospel

General Administration

Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

Click here to see the Article en Español

It is no surprise that God, in these days, is raising up saints from among the youth, as He once did in biblical times. There is an urgency! Within the context of artificial intelligence (AI), there is an emerging competition for who will have the greatest influence over young people, whose lives are very much shaped by their experiences of social interaction within virtual reality.

The Role of Oblates
Within this context, we, as Oblates, are called not just to engage the youth but, more importantly, to inspire them with the values of the Gospel and an encounter with Jesus Christ. Such an experience is real and life-giving, building the bonds of a Christian community. It offers genuine interaction deeply rooted in a love for one another, which inspires a willingness to make sacrifices for one another.

Dangers of Virtual Reality
Reality within a virtual context has no consequences. One of the dangers of artificial intelligence is that it can lead to a growing disconnect between people and does not teach young people the importance of the meaning of life, which is founded upon a willingness to make sacrifices for others and to find joy in such self-giving.

Missionary Focus on Youth
Interestingly, within the Oblate Congregation, over the past few years, there has been a growing missionary focus on ministry with youth through schools and various other methods of engagement. As the Holy Spirit calls us in this direction, I believe a missionary mandate must exist therein.

Inspiring Discipleship
It is not only to educate and direct young people but, more importantly, to inspire them with the fire of discipleship and allow God to control and shape their lives. Moreover, it is a mandate that gives young people a platform to become active and zealous agents of evangelization, especially in shaping what the world looks like within a virtual reality.

Call to Action
The announcement by Pope Francis of the canonization of Carlo Acutis is a sign from God that young people need to take a more active role in influencing the minds of the future. Our responsibility is to inspire young people to take up their missionary calling and become influencers of the Gospel, especially in a context where so much virtual reality is disconnected from what is truly life-giving.

Charles Rensburg, OMI
Treasurer General