Kelly Sankowski writes:
“In my life, Christus Vivit affirms that the dreams and desires I have as a young adult Catholic are the ways in which God is calling me to deeper relationship with Him – my vocation and my holiness are not just things that unfold outside of myself and my experience, but are rooted in the desires of my heart,” said Colleen Campbell, a 25 year-old doctoral student at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C….
“My initial reaction [to Christus Vivit] was excitement at the amount of care that the Holy Father put into a letter to young people, which was a unique style for a post-synodal exhortation,” said Jonathan Lewis, the assistant secretary for pastoral ministry and social concerns for the Archdiocese of Washington, who participated in the synod as an auditor. “It seemed to be written from the perspective of a parish priest to people he cared deeply about, and that was really touching. It didn’t read like some theological treatise or textbook, but as an encouraging letter.”
Lewis called Christus Vivit “the most kerygmatic papal document I’ve ever read,” meaning it teaches us “that we have to go back to that fundamental joy of the gospel, which is that Christ died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again,” and reminds us “that Christ is not some historical figure or someone to be read about in a newspaper or dusty textbook, but Christ is fully alive and calls each of us to be fully alive,” Lewis said….
“The vicar of Christ chooses to leave space within his own magisterial teaching for the voices of young people, and I found that very inspiring,” said Lewis….
In section 143 of Christus Vivit, Pope Francis writes, “Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus!”
Campbell said that section “inspires me to be fearless in the pursuit of my vocation and encourages me not to give a second thought to the anxiety that can so often hold a young person back from becoming who God destined her to be.” Lewis said the section reminds him of the way that Jesus spoke in the Gospels, where He communicated through images from the culture of the people who He was speaking to, which was situated in the agriculture of first century Judea. But in Christus Vivit, Pope Francis “is really trying to inculturate Jesus now,” said Lewis.