Diocesan News

Bishop Brennan Urges Youth, ‘Don’t be Afraid to Give Yourself to Jesus’

Bishop Robert Brennan delivers the homily during a Mass for young people, Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph. The new bishop incorporated themes from the Church’s Year of St. Joseph, which concludes Dec. 8. (Photos: Bill Miller)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — It was a Mass Bishop Robert Brennan couldn’t wait to celebrate — his first with the young people of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Organizers said it was rescheduled from a couple of weeks earlier to give Bishop Brennan the chance to celebrate it, and also to mark the closing of the Year of St. Joseph.

The newly-installed bishop celebrated Mass Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph to observe the 36th Annual Global Celebration of Youth and Young Adults, also known as World Youth Day.

After the Mass, Bishop Brennan used the opportunity to meet with young adults outside.

Bishop Brennan speaks with a group of young people outside the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph after a Mass for the national observance of the Annual Celebration of Youth and Young Adults. (Photo: Bill Miller)

He described how St. Joseph and today’s youth share the challenge of overcoming fear. Joseph, a carpenter, was reluctant to receive his betrothed wife, Mary, because she was with child.

“What do you think Jesus wanted more than anything else on the night before he died?” Bishop Brennan asked the estimated 200 teens and young adults. “He wanted to be with his friends. He wanted to share that meal with them.

“What he said to them at the table that night he’s saying to a new generation gathered here at St Joseph’s Co-Cathedral: “I call you my friend. I want to be there when it’s a little difficult, when you’re afraid, when you’re nervous because I want to be part of it all. That’s what you mean to me.’

“And so the message today is about entering into a friendship with Jesus Christ and coming to know him.”

To do that, Bishop Brennan urged the youth to look for Jesus in scripture, but to avoid being overwhelmed.

“So read maybe one of the Gospels,” he said. “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You know them, right? Pick one and just read it like a social media post. Take a paragraph, the one that’s right before you, and just read it. He’s talking to you today.

“Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to give yourself to Jesus.”

“It was very beautiful to have the bishop with us, just celebrating the presence of the Lord in our lives,” said Allan Robinson, a missionary with the Shalom community, which provided the music. “It’s very good to have a young bishop in the Diocese of Brooklyn.”

Angel Romero, 15, agreed.

“He’s engaging to kids,” he said. “He likes to communicate with us. I like that about him.”

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