Towards a Renewed Christ-Encounter in the Formation of Young People
Make a Mess, but also help to arrange and organize the mess that’s been made
Make a mess and organize it well. A mess that gives a free heart, a mess that gives us solidarity, a mess that gives us hope, a mess that lets us meet Jesus and know God, who I know is very strong. This is the mess you must make. (1)
“Go and make a mess,” says Pope Francis to young people. He says, make a mess, and organize it well. A Mess that transforms the world. A mess that gives a free heart, a mess that gives us solidarity with the poor and the oppressed, a mess that gives hope amidst hopelessness. Most importantly, a mess that lets us meet Jesus. This mess is brought about by an authentic encounter with the Lord alone. In fact, the mess; the locus of human experience becomes a place of an encounter with the Lord.
I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ.(7)
The true knowledge of God consisted in a personal, profound experience of Jesus Christ and of his love. And, dear brothers and sisters, this is true for every Christian: faith is first and foremost a personal, intimate encounter with Jesus, it is having an experience of his closeness, his friendship and his love. It is in this way that we learn to know him ever better, to love him and to follow him more and more. May this happen to each one of us!(10)
9 Cf. Stephen Bevans, “Reimagining God and Mission” in Ross Langmead, ed., Reimagining God and Mission (Adelaide: ATF Press, 2007), 54.