03 2007


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VATICAN CITY - At 9.30 a.m. today, the Holy Father travelled by popemobile to the esplanade of Montorso near Loreto, Italy, where he presided at a Eucharistic concelebration in the presence of half a million young people.

In his homily Benedict XVI affirmed that “Jesus Christ, God made man, in Mary assumed our own flesh, took part in our lives and wished to share in our history. In order to accomplish this Covenant, God sought a young heart and found it in Mary.“

“Even today God continues to seek young hearts, He seeks young people with great hearts who are capable of making space for Him in their lives in order to become protagonists of the New Covenant.“

The Pope called on the young people to let themselves be drawn into “the new life that arises from the encounter with Christ,“ so as “to become apostles of His peace in your families, among your friends, within your ecclesial communities and in the various areas in which you live and work.“

In Loreto, said the Pope, “our thoughts naturally go to the Holy House of Nazareth which is the shrine of humility: the humility of God Who became flesh and the humility of Mary who accepted Him in her womb; the humility of the Creator and the humility of the creature.“

Today, he continued, “the humble are seen as resigned and defeated, as people who have nothing to say to the world. Yet the truth is that humility is the best way, and not only because it is a great human virtue but also, and primarily, because it is God’s own way of acting.“

The Holy Father launched a message to the young people “who wish to follow Christ and to be part of His Church. ... Do not follow the path of pride but that of humility. Swim against the tide. Do not listen to biased and persuasive voices advocating lifestyles based on arrogance and violence, on self-importance and success at all costs, on appearance and possession to the detriment of being.“

“Be vigilant and critical“ towards the messages that reach you via the communications media, warned the Holy Father. “Do not be afraid to give preference to the ’alternative’ paths indicated by real love: a life of sobriety and solidarity; pure and sincere emotional relationships; honest commitment in study and work; profound concern for the common good. Do not be afraid to seem different or to be criticized for ... being out of fashion. Your peers, ... and especially those who seem furthest from the mentality and values of the Gospel, have a profound need to see someone who dares to live in accordance with the fullness of humanity as manifested by Jesus Christ.“

Pope Benedict invited his audience to look to Mary in order to experience “God’s ’yes’ to humanity.“ Thus, he went on, “we come to understand that our faith does not propose a series of moral prohibitions but a joyous path to the light of God’s ’yes’.“ In this context, he indicated that the main challenge that young people must face is that of “following Christ to the full, without reserve or compromise. And following Christ means feeling oneself to be a living part of His body, which is the Church. .... Following Christ also involves a constant struggle to make one’s own contribution to building a more just and united society, in which everyone can enjoy the goods of the earth.“

“Without doubt, one of the fields in which urgent efforts are necessary is that of the defense of creation. ... Before it is too late, courageous choices must be made aimed at recreating a powerful bond between man and the earth. What is needed is a decided ’yes’ to safeguarding creation and a deep commitment to invert tendencies that risk leading to conditions of irreversible degradation.“ In this context, the Pope expressed his appreciation for an initiative by the Italian Church to raise awareness concerning the problems of environmental protection, with a National Day celebrated on September 1.

Benedict XVI concluded by assuring young people of his prayers and affection, in the hope “that you may enthusiastically continue the path of the ’Agora,’ that special three-year journey of openness, dialogue and mission.“ He also invited them to participate in World Youth Day, due to be celebrated in Sydney, Australia, in July 2008.

After Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father said that “Loreto, after Nazareth, is the ideal place for prayer and meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.“

“There is,“ said the Pope, “a mutual bond between the piazza [the Agora] and the house [the Holy House of Loreto]. The piazza is large and open, it is a place for meeting others, for dialogue. ... The house, on the other hand, is a place for meditation and for interior silence where the Word can be absorbed profoundly. In order to take God into the piazza it is necessary first to have absorbed Him in the house, just as Mary did at the Annunciation. And, vice versa, the house is open onto the piazza.“

Source by vaticano

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