“When I heard this, it reminded me of a song by the artist, Jay-Z, that was popular a few years ago,” Chaput said. “The song was entitled ‘Forever Young,’ and it was a remake of a popular tune by the German group, Alphaville, from the 1980s. Jay-Z sang for the young - and for all of us - ‘I want to live forever and be forever young.’”
The image of Christ as “eternally young” is “not only beautiful but powerful”, Chaput said, because he is “alive and vigorous, and constantly offering his disciples an abundant new life.”
But Christ did not remain a youth, but rather matured into a man “of courage, self-mastery, and mercy guided by justice and truth. He was a teacher both tender and forceful; understanding and patient – but also very clear about the kind of human choices and actions that would lead to God, and the kind that would not,” Chaput said.
Unfortunately, Chaput noted, many “developed” countries today are actually “underdeveloped in their humanity. They’re frozen in a kind of moral adolescence; an adolescence which they’ve chosen for themselves and now seek to impose upon others.”
“The instrumentum (working document) does a good job of exploring the roots of that underdevelopment and the challenges to young people that flow from it,” Chaput said.
“But it needs to be much stronger and more confident in presenting God’s Word and the person of Jesus Christ as the only path to a full and joyful humanity. And it needs to do this much earlier in the text.”