Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA) – Young people should look to the “saints of our times,” as models of holiness, Archbishop José Gomez told the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday. The Archbishop of Los Angeles highlighted the example of the seven recently canonized saints in his speech to the assembly.
Gomez spoke Oct. 16 during the fifteenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, currently meeting in Rome to discuss young people, the faith, and vocational discernment. The session continues until Oct. 28.
In looking to saints, of which there are examples from “every continent,” young people will be inspired to live their vocation as “everyday saints” in their own unique way, Archbishop Gomez said. He also called on his brother bishops to be a model of sainthood for young people.
“We need to show young people what holiness looks like, by living the Gospel we preach, proclaiming Jesus Christ by the way we live. We need to call young people to be saints — and we need to be saints ourselves,” he said.
Gomez emphasized that calling young people to “conversion and new life in Christ” should be a priority in the synod’s final conclusions, and that the Church is called to serve and accompany young people on that journey.
This involves, he said, setting an example of how to pray, helping young people meet the Lord in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, encouraging them to perform works of mercy for the poor, and cultivating a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Sadly, young people today do not know how to live authentic human lives because the adults of our secular society have not shown them the way,” Gomez said.
“The vision for life offered to young people in Western societies does not call them to goodness or beauty or truth. Instead, what is offered are various life ‘styles’ and alternatives for self-creation rooted in the restless consumption of material comforts, virtual entertainments, and passing pleasures,” he said.
The archbishop said that in his conversations with young people in his own diocese he came to see that the Church did offer the answers they were seeking.
“In the Incarnation of the Son of God and in his Passion and Resurrection, we see revealed the dignity and destiny of the human person, created in God’s image and called to live by his Spirit as a child of God and to be saints — to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy,” Gomez said.
Archbishop Gomez, along with seven auxiliary bishops, leads the largest archdiocese in the country, with over 4 million Catholics out of a total population of over 11 million.