World Youth Day - News



VATICAN CITY, AUG 17, 2000 (VIS) - Thursday morning at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father presided at a Mass for young people who had participated in the international forum which was held in Rome from August 12 to 15.

"Dear young people," said the Pope in his homily, "do not doubt God's love for you! For you, He reserves a place in His heart and a mission in the world. ... The task appears immense because it assumes the dimensions of society and of the world, but do not forget that, when He calls, the Lord also gives the strength and the grace necessary to respond to the call.

"Do not be afraid," he continued, "to shoulder your responsibilities. The Church needs you, she needs your commitment and your generosity. The Pope needs you, at the start of this new millennium, he asks you to carry the Gospel along the paths of the world."

Making reference to the Gospel passage where the Lord asks Simon Peter if he loves Him, John Paul II said: "Today Christ asks the same question to each of you: do you love me? He does not ask you to address the masses, to know how to run an organization or administer a patrimony. He asks you to love Him. All the rest will follow as a result. Indeed, to follow Jesus' footsteps does not translate immediately into things to be done or said but, above all, into the fact of loving Him, of being with Him and of welcoming Him entirely into your lives."

The Pope concluded by encouraging the young people to love Christ and the Church: "Love Christ as He loves you. Love the Church as Christ loves her and do not forget that true love places no conditions, it does not calculate or recriminate, it simply loves." 


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