On Preaching to Young Adults

Fr. Gus DiNoia, OP, on preaching to young adults (ht Alan). How do we “clear away the barriers” that keep young adults from Christ?

Clearing away the barriers-whatever the audience we have in view-demands a robust sort of apologetics. No one in his or her right mind will be interested in a faith about which its exponents seem too embarrassed to communicate forthrightly. We have to be convinced that the fullness of the truth and beauty of the message about Jesus Christ is powerfully attractive when it is communicated without apologies or compromise. …

I shall focus this evening on three barriers or misunderstandings that need to be cleared away in order to help young people encounter the living God. I believe that they constitute the three biggest barriers to be overcome in preaching, catechesis and evangelization directed to young people today. They are powerful and well-entrenched, and it will not be easy to dispel them. They concern what it means to call Christ the Savior, what it means to be authentically human, and what it means to be moral. I want to offer you some understanding of the nature of these barriers and some ideas on how to approach the task of clearing them away.