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Quit Your Whining! The "Good News" for Millennials

“How many of you feel better after listening to talk radio?” The priest officiating Easter mass asked our church, which was brimming with so many attendees that we spilled out of pews and stood against the back wall. No one raised a hand or yelled, “I do! I feel better.” In a congregation shouting “Halleluiahs” and “Amens” moments before, the silence itself was a response, although it was not a surprising one. The headlines are populated with tragedies and stories about hard times for countless Americans, many of whom are neighbors, friends or our own families. As the priest explained in his homily, this is a world that desperately needs the Good News—the message that Jesus conquers death and the brokenness of our world through the resurrection. But what does it really mean to “live” the Good News as a resurrection Christian today? In part, proclaiming the Good News requires us to abandon our whining and grumbling about things that don’t matter, like whether we got what we wanted in our Easter baskets, or maybe even whether we have gotten what we wanted in life. Convincing the millennial generation—sometimes known as “Generation Me”—to let go of complaints about what they don’t have may prove to be challenging, especially when so many aspects of the American dream like home ownership and job opportunities seem out-of-reach for us. The New York Times’ recent article “Do Millennials Stand a Chance in the Real World?” characterizes the millennials’ ethos as one of “financial melancholy.” We long for the prosperity of previous generations and continually search for answers as to why we are the ones that must do without. Before we millennials can remedy our financial ills, though, we must cure the kind of self-absorption that prompts us to whine (sometimes publically on Twitter or Facebook) about the minutia of our lives. The Gospel compels us to set aside life’s disappointments and see the bigger picture. If we are to succeed in difficult times, we have to stop asking “Why me?” and choose to act with the knowledge that the brokenness we see around us is already redeemed. There is hope and good news for this generation; we only have to look past our own problems to find it.