Young people in their late teens and early twenties have rightly a reputation for being brave and adventurous. For example visitors to Anzac Cove at Gallipoli in Turkey, are astounded when they view the graves of the fallen, and read how young they were. Eight thousand Australians were killed at Gallipoli, and most of them were under the age of twenty-four.
Youth can also be incredibly generous. It would be a mistake, to presume the apostles on Pentecost Sunday, were serious faced middle aged men, similar to a synod of Bishops meeting in Rome!
On the contrary I'm guessing they were very young indeed. Jesus was thought to be about thirty-three when He was crucified. The apostles I'm speculating were a similar age or much younger. The sons of Zebedee, James and John and others of the Twelve may well have been teenagers.
After Pentecost they preached the message of Christ with zeal and enthusiasm. They had a cause. They had a vision. Going out to spread the teaching of their master Jesus was a great adventure.
G.K. Chesterton the distinguished English writer and convert to Catholicism commenting on the life of St Francis of Assisi wrote: "Francis of Assisi ran away to serve God as other young men have run away to sea." If this was the case Francis was following the example of those first wonderful apostles.
But sadly not all young baptised Christians feel the same love for Jesus and His message as did those first young men. For many Catholics, as Frank Sheed the late Catholic apologist would say, have "pagan minds with Catholic patches."
If this is the case it should not surprise us or discourage us. The church that Jesus founded is not a church of the elite but a church for poor sinners. A church, thanks be to God, in which there is a place even for you and me.
Fr Barry Tobin PE