30 Aug Challenges for the OFS and YouFra
For centuries the challenge for Christians has always been to find the courage to be living and effective witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus, in whatever ambit of life they lived. Unfortunately, given that we are human beings and sinners, every day we are called to face ever new challenges. Jesus has always been clear on this point, and in fact he asks us to “take up our cross and follow him” (Mark 8:34). Living in such a selfish world, sometimes without even realizing it, people fall easily into individualism. The estrangement from one another justified either by the difference in age or by different attitudes and thoughts often represents a fundamental challenge for both. In today’s society, in which we focus more on what divides than on what unites us which makes us grow and helps us to live our Franciscan vocation as members of the OFS and YouFra it is necessary that everyone is aware of the importance of beginning to open wide the doors that create divisions, be they age, ideologies, religions…and begin to live the Franciscan charism in which the emphasis is placed on the Gospel. However, to face the different challenges, the members of the OFS and YouFra must always try to walk together looking at Jesus and not at themselves – and, often this is the biggest challenge both for the members of the OFS and of the Franciscan Youth.
In this context, “By their Profession, Secular Franciscans commit themselves to live the Gospel according to Franciscan spirituality in their secular state” (GGCC, Art. 8), devoting themselves to the effective and fruitful witness of their faith. First of all, we should not be content with just belonging to the Franciscan family, but rather we must look for ways of being consistent with the faith and with the Franciscan charism, which calls us to live in vital and reciprocal communion with the brothers who are a gift of God.
The ecological challenge, the wars that are fought in the world, the consumption of drugs, marital crises, moral and spiritual decadence and the problems that lead to migration are further challenges on which the Franciscan youth and the Secular Franciscans are called to reflect both on a personal and collective level to find the most appropriate answers on how to propose the right way to the world, inspired and traced by the Gospel.
What is the attitude of the young Franciscans and secular Franciscans with respect to these challenges? No one can escape their present and future consequences. It is the duty of everyone to take responsibility for building a new world, where moral values are respected and protected. It is necessary to seek together adequate solutions, and it is essential that those who have the responsibility of spiritual assistance commit themselves to “make grow collaboration in the witness and in mission, and to accompany processes of community discernment to interpret the signs of the times in the light of faith and under the guidance of the Spirit, with the contribution of all the members of the community, starting from those who are on the margins” of society and of the Church.
Download and read the full text:
Koinonia 2019-2: “Identity and Mission of YouFra”