The video is the result of a study done by BOX1824, a Brazilian research company specializing in behavioral sciences and consumer trends. It spells out the basics on the last two generations, Baby Boomers and Generation X, and then focuses on the present youth generation labeled, “Millennials,” characterized by the globalized networks of relationships.

After seeing it, one thing is clear: the youth are important. Evidently, the video is coming from a reductive and consumerist perspective. Learning what we can from it, we too need to participate in the effort to understand on a deeper level who we are and who is our generation. The questions: How to speak to the hearts and minds of my friends and family? What are their needs, concerns, desires, fears? How can I serve?

How can we bring Christ to the world today? are URGENT ONES. Each one of us has a particular insight into the world of today and of those around us.

All this speaks of one basic principle: in order to love, we most know. The more we know, the more we can love, and the more we love, the better we will know. While writing this, an image comes to mind from the movie the Passion. Several times the camera focuses in on the look of Christ. His gaze slips into the depth of the person. It is a look of knowing and a look of love. Jesus doesn’t give speeches. He speaks “to”… to the person, looking them in the eye, to their heart, responding to their needs, to their fears, to their dreams.

How can we preach the gospel as Christ did if we do not understand those around us? Have our secular brothers taught us nothing? How many millions of dollars are spent by corporations to investigate their potential buyers. And we… we who are offering something much deeper and more valuable, do we understand who it is we are evangelizing? Taking the time to get to know the person, to understand his or her story, to develop a friendship ar e crucial apostolic steps. Like preparing the soul before planting the seed, these steps create a fertile environment for the seed of faith to be planted and to grow.