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in Philippines, January-February 2010
By Vanessa T. De Guzman
By Vanessa T. De Guzman
8th Consolation Prize Winner
The author is in Fourth Year Section Explorer at St Mary's University, High School and Science High School, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
The light of the youth’s fire spreads widely, the youth’s hands are fast. The youth’s heart befriends the growing ‘digital world’. The youth’s access to the digital world, which consists of technologies, computer and internet, is vast. And with the speedy click of the fingertips, the bridge between the youth and the digital world can lead into the evangelization of this digital continent, the digital continent that contains the young generation which Pope Benedict calls the digital generation.
The world cannot leave the technological advancements. This world can’t reach the highest peak of its development without relying on the great help that digital improvements provide. That was then this world is called the digital continent. And then the youth went on with the flow of the present times. As the youth befriended Friendster, Facebook, Yahoo, Yahoo Messenger, Plurk, Google and different website, the great power of spreading the Word of God to the billions of people accesses to the digital world lies in their hands. This great converting billion lives to Christianity is embedded in their beings. But before applying this great obligation of evangelization, the young generation should understand it well. They should understand its message and its purpose. As they plant this evangelization responsibility to the depths of their minds, it will flow though the heart and bear fruit to the hands.
There are many websites nowadays which are produced by young minds, created by young hands, witnessed by many eyes and appreciated by many hearts. These websites are not only plain in their purpose of giving entertainment, but hold firm to their mission of sharing the great message of the omnipotent God who gave His only Son, His Son who humbly became human, suffered and saved the people from their sins. These websites appeal to the people’s interest especially for the youth. These websites contain hot trends that are attractive for the youth while their messages are rooted in the Good News of the Lord, so as for the websites to catch the attention of the youth. In this way, the young viewers are provided with entertainment and their spirits are nourished with God’s word.
This world consists of different colors, races and cultures. With the help of technological advances, the digital world can serve as thousand bridges that connect different people. These technological advances should break the walls that divide us. Posting different pictures on the internet portraying different races and cultures is a great means of enabling others see and accept the diversities of people as equal creations of God. Posting comments on the internet that reveal the cultural beliefs of every individual awakens the awareness of the million surfers and gives them more understanding. This understanding opens doors for humans to learn to respect the different beings of people around them. Pope Benedict challenges us, the youth, to be evangelizers of this digital continent. The pope aims to arouse our Christian morality to a deeper responsibility. Although Pope Benedict’s purpose for the youth and for the world is very noble, carrying this heavy task entails sacrifices, too. The youth are still soft and vulnerable and still have a lot to learn yet. There are times that the youth’s selfish pleasure hinders the fulfillment of their Christian social responsibility. At times, the youth also get tired of their obligation and they long for their own delight without exerting much effort. When they become pressured by other burdens, there are tendencies that they stop from accomplishing their Christian task and then they’ll want to focus on their selfish wants and satisfactions.
Because of these tendencies, at times, the youth are doing their reverse of their Christian obligations. Instead of using the internet as a great medium of binding different people together in following Christ, some adolescents even proclaim things which are against the Ten Commandment of the Lord. But the Pope entrust this challenge to the youth because he believes in the wisdom and wonders that the Lord can give to the adolescents. The Pope believes that in every downfall an adolescent will encounter, Christ will always be there to give a hand and raise him/her up again. The Pope strongly trusts in the Lord that even if the youth can get tired of following Christ at times and then they’ll turn their backs on Jesus, Jesus never gets tired of them and never turns his back on his young brothers and sisters. And then the youth will continue in fulfilling their mission and then pass it on the next generations.
I, as part of the billion young minds and beings setting foot in this wide world, am encouraged and obliged to become a responsible evangelizer of this generation. The miracles of God’s evident love in everyday life keep inspiring me to pass it on the others. That’s why as a young person created by God in His own image and likeness, I will fulfill my mission of converting this digital continent to Christianity by sharing my blessed experiences of God’s unconditional love through my internet accounts, by continuing to post the Message of the Lord on my email address, by implementing the moral lessons I have learned from the different Christian emails and websites on the internet and many more. I will continue to carry my meaningful mission because I believe that every little wisdom of the mind, every good will of the heart, every good proclamation of the mouth, and every good deed of the hands count in evangelizing this continent embraced by the digital world.