Friday, 13th January 1995
"Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mk 10,17).
"Dear Friends in Christ,
1. A young man once asked Jesus this question. In reply, Jesus re minded him of God’s commandments. And when the young man indicated that he had kept all the commandments from his earliest days, Jesus looked at him with love and said: "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Mk 10,21).
"Come, follow me!". The call which the Lord addressed that day to the young man in the Gospel reechoes in our time. The Church repeats this call when the Pope, the Bishops, and those involved in the pastoral care of young people invite them to gather together. There are many such occasions for young people to meet: in their parishes and Dioceses, and for the past 10 years at the World Youth Days; in Rome, then in Buenos Aires in Argentina, later in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, later in Jasna Góra, Częstochowa in Poland, and in Denver in the United States. Today we are here in Manila, in the Philippines, in Far East, in Asia. Even though there are delegations here from most of the world’s countries, we have to say that this is, in a special way, the World Youth Day of the Churches of Asia and the Far East.
2. ..The theme this year is expressed in the words of Christ to the Apostles after the Resurrection: "As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20,21). Two thousand years ago these words set in motion the Church’s never-ending mission to proclaim the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth. The Lord Jesus said to the Apostles: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20,22), and the mission – in obedience to these words – began on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and those simple men became the holders of the divine power which enabled them to announce the Gospel with courage, even to the shedding of their blood.
3. What do these words mean today? What do they mean for you, young people of the International Youth Forum?
When Jesus says: "As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you", his words have the same meaning now as they did immediately after the Resurrection. At the same time they always have a new meaning. The task of the World Youth Day, and especially the task of the Forum, is to disclose this meaning, which is both eternal and contemporary. In a way, your task is to invite the Holy Spirit to this Filipino cenacle, where Jesus’ words can become once again a mission, a sending of apostles.
4. It is always Christ who sends. But whom does he send? You, young people, are the ones he looks upon with love. Christ, who says: "Follow me", wants you to live your lives with a sense of vocation. He wants your lives to have a precise meaning, a dignity. Most of you are called to marriage and family life; but some will receive a call to the priesthood or religious life.
In fact there is a representative group of seminarians, novices and young religious present at this Mass. I greet each one of you and encourage you to be steadfast in answering the call to a total self-giving love of the Lord. He will make many demands on you. He will require the fullest commitment of your whole being to the spreading of the Gospel and to the service of his people. But do not be afraid! His demands are also the measure of his love for each of you personally.
5. What is it that Christ wants young people to do? The Second Vatican Council has made us more aware that there are many ways of building up the Church. Every form of the apostolate is valid and fruitful if it exists in the Church, by the Church and for the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, spoken of in the teaching of Saint Paul.
The World Youth Day can be for all of you an occasion for discovering your calling, for discerning the particular path which Christ sets before you. The search and discovery of God’s will for you is a deep and fascinating endeavor. It requires of you the attitude of trust expressed in the words of the Psalm used in today’s liturgy: "You will show me the path to life, fullness of joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever" (Ps 15,11). Every vocation, every path to which Christ calls us, ultimately leads to fulfilment and happiness, because it leads to God, to sharing in God’s own life.
And I see that the people of the Philippines are very joyous. Why are they so joyous? I am convinced that you Filipino peoples are so joyous because you received the Good News. Who is receiving the Good News is joyous, is radiant with joy, and also is giving the joy to others. Today they are giving that joy to the Pope. They are giving the same joy to the Cardinals, to the Bishops, to priests, to all of you! And I myself, and all of us are so grateful to the Filipino peoples for their joyous hospitality.
6. Returning to the text, do not be slow to answer the Lord’s call! From the passage of the Book of Exodus read to us in this Mass we can learn how the Lord acts in every vocation. First, he provokes a new awareness of his presence – the burning bush. When we begin to show an interest he calls us by name. When our answer becomes more specific and like Moses we say: "Here I am", then he reveals more clearly both himself and his compassionate love for his people in need. Gradually he leads us to discover the practical way in which we should serve him: "I will send you". And usually it is then that fears and doubts come to disturb us and make it more difficult to decide. It is then that we need to hear the Lord’s assurance: "I am with you". Every vocation is a deep personal experience of the truth of these words: "I am with you" (Ex 3,12). I give to the words my personal convictions. It was so important for me to hear them. "I am with you. Be not afraid!"
So we see that every vocation to the apostolate springs from familiarity with God’s word and involves being sent to communicate that word to others. These "others" can be people who already know the language of the revealed word. But they can also be people who do not yet know that language, as happens in the case of the missionary vocation. The word of God is unknown to some because they have not yet heard it. Others have forgotten it, or have abandoned what they once heard. No matter what the difficulties, the apostle knows that he is not alone: "I am always with you". I pray every day that the Catholic young people of the world will hear the call of Christ and that their response will be what the Responsorial Psalm says: The Lord is "my allotted portion... I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed" (Ps 15,8).
7. Enormous tasks lie before the youth of the world; especially before the Catholic youth of the Philippines, of Asia and the Far East, on the eve of the Third Millennium. The largest mission land of the world is in need of workers, and the Church constantly prays the Lord of the harvest to send them, to send us, to send you.
As I go to the altar, I wish, together with the Bishops and priests gathered here, to offer up under the forms of bread and wine all that you, young men and women, carry in your hearts. The bread and wine will become, in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ. When you receive him in Holy Communion, may you have the courage to listen to his call. Let me express this call in the words of a song (but no singing) which I learned from young people when I was still in my own country. Their song goes: "Come with me to save the world; for already it is the twentieth century!". Indeed, the twentieth century is now coming to an end. So Christ says: "Come with me into the Third Millennium, to save the world!"
I am very anxious to meet you personally after the celebration, and to be near to everyone of you, from so different languages and countries and nations of the whole world. I am anxious to see you, to come and meet you leaning on this walking-stick.
"As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you..." Amen."
Prayer Vigil - Saturday, 14th January
"Dear Young People of the 10th World Youth Day,
1. In your questions I see repeated once more the scene from the Gospel, where a young man asks Jesus: Good Teacher, what must I do? The first thing that Jesus looked for was the attitude behind the question, the sincerity of the search. Jesus understood that the young man was sincerely looking for the truth about life and about his own personal path in life.
This is important. Life is a gift of a certain period of time in which each one of us faces a challenge which life itself brings: the challenge of having a purpose, a destiny, and of striving for it. The opposite is to spend our lives on the surface of things, to "lose" our lives in futility; never to discover in ourselves the capacity for good and for real solidarity, and therefore never to discover the path to true happiness. Too many young people do not realize that they themselves are the ones who are mainly responsible for giving a worthwhile meaning to their lives. The mystery of human freedom is at the heart of the great adventure of living life well.
2. It is true that young people today experience difficulties that previous generations experienced only partially and in a limited way. The weakness of much of family life, the lack of communication between parents and children, the isolating and alienating influence of a large part of the media, all these things can produce confusion in young people about the truths and values which give a genuine meaning to life.
False teachers, many belonging to an intellectual elite in the worlds of science, culture and the media, present an anti-Gospel. They declare that every ideal is dead, contributing in this way to the profound moral crisis affecting society, a crisis which has opened the way for the toleration and even exaltation of forms of behavior which the moral conscience and common sense formerly held in abhorrence. When you ask them: what must I do?, their only certainty is that there is no definite truth, no sure path. They want you to be like them: doubtful and cynical. Consciously or not, they advocate an approach to life that has led millions of young people into a sad loneliness in which they are deprived of reasons for hope and are incapable of real love.
3. You ask, "what are my expectations of young people?". In "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" I have written that "the fundamental problem of youth is profoundly personal. Young people... know that their life has meaning to the extent that it becomes a free gift for others" (John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 121). A question therefore is directed to each one of you personally: are you capable of giving of yourself, your time, your energies, your talents, for the good of others? Are you capable of love? If you are, the Church and society can expect great things from each one of you.
The vocation to love, understood as true openness to our fellow human beings and solidarity with them, is the most basic of all vocations. It is the origin of all vocations in life. That is what Jesus was looking for in the young man when he said: "Keep the commandments." In other words: "Serve God and your neighbor according to all the demands of a true and upright heart". And when the young man indicated that he was already following that path, Jesus invited him to an even greater love: "Leave all and come, follow me: leave everything that concerns only yourself and join me in the immense task of saving the world." Along the path of each person’s existence, the Lord has something for each one to do.
"As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn. 20:21). These are the words which Jesus addressed to the Apostles after his Resurrection. These are the words of Christ which guide our reflection during this 10th World Youth Day. Today the Church and the Pope address these same words to you, to you, the young people of the Philippines, the young people of Asia and Oceania, the young people of the world.
4. 2,000 years of Christianity show that these words have been wonderfully effective. The little community of the first disciples, like a tiny mustard seed, has grown to be like a very big tree. This great tree, with its different branches, reaches all the continents, all the countries of the world, the great majority of which are represented here by their delegates. Dear Filipino young people: on that tree, your country is an especially strong and healthy branch, stretching out to the whole vast continent of Asia. In the shade of this tree, in the shade of its branches and leaves, the peoples of the world can find rest. They can gather under its welcoming shade to discover, as you have been doing here during the World Youth Day, the marvellous truth which is at the center of our faith: that the Eternal Word, of one being with the Father, through whom all things were made, became flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary.
He dwelt among us.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.
Through prayer and meditation, this evening Vigil is meant to help you to realize more clearly what the extraordinary "Good News" of salvation through Jesus Christ means for your lives. The "Good News" is for everyone. That is why the World Youth Day is held in different places.
5. On Palm Sunday last year, in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, young Catholics from the United States handed over to representatives of the Church in the Philippines the World Youth Day Cross. The Pilgrim Cross goes from one continent to another, and young people from everywhere gather to experience together the fact that Jesus Christ is the same for everyone, and his message is always the same. In him there are no divisions, no ethnic rivalries, no social discrimination. All are brothers and sisters in the one family of God.
This is the beginning of an answer to your question about what the Church and the Pope expect of the young people of the 10th World Youth Day. Later we shall continue our meditation on the words of Jesus: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you", and their significance for the young people of the world.
6. Your questions this time concern the Person and the work of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. You feel the mystery of his Person drawing you to know him better. You see how his words inspired his disciples to go out and preach the Gospel to every people, thus beginning a mission which continues to this day and which has taken the Church to every corner of the world. You want to be sure that if you follow him you will not be let down or disappointed.
In other words, how can we explain the extraordinary effect of his life, and the effectiveness of his words? Where do his power and authority come from?
7. Una lectura atenta del Evangelio de San Juan nos ayudará a encontrar una respuesta a nuestra pregunta.
Vemos cómo Jesús, a pesar de las puertas cerradas, entra en la habitación donde los discípulos están reunidos. Les muestra sus manos y su costado. ¿Qué indican estas manos y este costado? Son los signos de la Pasión y Muerte del Redentor en la Cruz. El Viernes Santo estas manos fueron traspasadas por los clavos, al levantar su cuerpo en la cruz, entre el cielo y la tierra. Y cuando la agonía había llegado a su fin, el centurión romano traspasó también su costado con la lanza, para asegurarse de que ya no vivía. Inmediatamente brotaron sangre y agua, como una prueba patente de su muerte. Jesús había muerto realmente. Murió y fue colocado en el sepulcro, como era costumbre sepultar entre los Judíos. José de Arimatea le cedió la tumba familiar, que poseía cerca de sitio. Allí yació Jesús hasta la mañana de Pascua. Ese día, muy de mañana, algunas mujeres vinieron de Jerusalén para ungir el cuerpo inerte. Pero encontraron que la tumba estaba vacía. Jesús había resucitado.
Jésus ressuscité rejoint les Apôtres dans la salle où ils sont réunis. Et, pour prouver qu’il est bien celui qu’ils avaient toujours connu, il leur montre ses blessures: ses mains et son côté. Ce sont les marques de sa Passion et de sa Mort rédemptrices, la source de la force qu’il leur transmet. Il dit: “De même que le Père m’a envoyé, moi aussi je vous envoie... Recevez l’Esprit Saint.”
8. La Risurrezione di Gesù Cristo è la chiave per comprendere la storia del mondo, la storia di tutto quanto il creato, ed è la chiave per comprendere specialmente la storia dell’uomo. L’uomo, al pari di tutto il creato, è sottoposto alla legge della morte. Leggiamo nella Lettera agli Ebrei: “È stabilito che gli uomini muoiano.” Ma grazie a quanto Cristo ha operato, quella legge è stata sottomessa a un’altra legge, la legge della vita. Grazie alla Risurrezione di Cristo, l’uomo non esiste più solamente per la morte, ma esiste per la vita che si deve rivelare in noi. È la vita che Cristo ha portato nel mondo. Di qui l’importanza della nascita di Gesù a Betlemme, che abbiamo appena celebrato nel Natale. Per questo motivo la Chiesa si prepara al Grande Giubileo dell’Anno 2000. La vita umana che a Betlemme fu rivelata ai pastori e ai saggi che vennero dall’Oriente in una notte stellata ha dato prova della sua indistruttibilità nel giorno della Risurrezione. Vi è un legame profondo tra la notte di Betlemme e il giorno della Risurrezione.
9. The victory of life over death is what every human being desires. All religions, especially the great religious traditions followed by most of the peoples of Asia, bear witness to how deeply the truth regarding our immortality is inscribed in man’s religious consciousness. Man’s search for life after death finds definitive fulfilment in the Resurrection of Christ. Because the Risen Christ is the demonstration of God’s response to this deeply-felt longing of the human spirit, the Church professes: "I believe in the resurrection of the body and in life everlasting" ("Symbolum Apostolorum"). The Risen Christ assures the men and women of every age that they are called to a life beyond the frontier of death.
The resurrection of the body is more than just the immortality of the soul. The whole person, body and soul, is destined to eternal life. And eternal life is life in God. Not life in the world, which, as Saint Paul teaches, is "subject to futility" (Rom. 8:20). As a creature in the world, the individual is subject to death, just like every other created being. The immortality of the whole person can come only as a gift from God. It is in fact a sharing in the eternity of God himself.
10. How do we receive this "life in God"? Through the Holy Spirit! Only the Holy Spirit can give this new life, as we profess in the Creed: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life". Through him we become, in the likeness of the only-begotten Son, adopted children of the Father.
When Jesus says: "Receive the Holy Spirit!" he is saying: Receive from me this divine life, the divine adoption which I brought into the world and which I grafted on to human history. I myself, the Eternal Son of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, became the Son of man, born of the Virgin Mary. You, through the power of the same Spirit, must become – in me and through me – adopted sons and daughters of God.
"Receive the Holy Spirit!" means: Accept from me this inheritance of grace and truth, which makes you one spiritual and mystical body with me. "Receive the Holy Spirit!" also means: Become sharers in the Kingdom of God, which the Holy Spirit pours into your hearts as the fruit of the suffering and sacrifice of the Son of God, so that more and more God will become all in all.
11. Dear young people: our meditation has reached the heart of the mystery of Christ the Redeemer. Through his total consecration to the Father, he has become the channel of our adoption as the Father’s beloved sons and daughters. The new life which exists in you by reason of Baptism is the source of your Christian hope and optimism. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever. When he says to you: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you", you can be certain that he will not let you down; he will be with you always!
Dear young Friends
12. The enthronement of Our Lady of Antipolo invites us to look to Mary to see how to respond to Jesus’ call. First, she kept all things, pondering them in her heart. She also went in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth. Both attitudes are essential parts of our response to the Lord: prayer and action. That is what the Church expects of her young people. That is what I have come here to ask of you. Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother, will help us to hear her Divine Son.
13. "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you". These words are addressed to you. The Church addresses them to all young people around the world. Today though they are being addressed especially to the young people of the Philippines; and to the young people of China, of Japan, Korea and Vietnam; to the young people of Laos and Cambodia; to those of Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia; to the young people of India and of the Islands of the Indian Ocean; to the young people of Australia and New Zealand, and of the Islands of the vast Pacific.
Sons and daughters of this part of the world, the home of the greatest part of the human family, you are called to the same task and challenge to which Christ and the Church call the young people of every continent: the young people of the Middle East, of Eastern Europe and Western Europe, of North America, of Central and South America, of Africa. To each one of you Christ says: "I am sending you".
14. Why is he sending you? Because men and women the world over – north, south, east and west – long for true liberation and fulfilment. The poor seek justice and solidarity; the oppressed demand freedom and dignity; the blind cry out for light and truth. You are not being sent to proclaim some abstract truth. The Gospel is not a theory or an ideology! The Gospel is life! Your task is to bear witness to this life: the life of God’s adopted sons and daughters. Modern man, whether he knows it or not, urgently needs that life – just as two thousand years ago humanity was in need of Christ’s coming; just as people will always need Jesus Christ until the end of time.
15. Why do we need him? Because Christ reveals the truth about man and man’s life and destiny. He shows us our place before God, as creatures and sinners, as redeemed through his own Death and Resurrection, as making our pilgrim way to the Father’s house. He teaches the fundamental commandment of love of God and love of neighbor. He insists that there cannot be justice, brotherhood, peace and solidarity without the Ten Commandments of the Covenant, revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai and confirmed by the Lord on the Mount of the Beatitudes and in his dialogue with the young man.
The truth about man – which the modern world finds so hard to understand – is that we are made in the image and likeness of God himself, and precisely in this fact, apart from any other consideration, lies the inalienable dignity of every human being, without exception, from the moment of conception until natural death. But what is even more difficult for contemporary culture to understand is that this dignity, already forged in the creative act of God, is raised immeasurably higher in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. This is the message which you have to proclaim to the modern world: especially to the least fortunate, to the homeless and dispossessed, to the sick, the outcasts, to those who suffer at the hands of others. To each one you must say: Look to Jesus Christ in order to see who you really are in the eyes of God!
16. Increasing attention is being given to the cause of human dignity and human rights, and gradually these are being codified and included in legislation both at national and international levels. For this we should be grateful. But the effective and guaranteed observance of respect for human dignity and human rights will be impossible if individuals and communities do not overcome self-interest, fear, greed and the thirst for power. And for this, man needs to be freed from the dominion of sin, through the life of grace: the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus says to you: "I am sending you to your families, to your parishes, to your movements and associations, to your countries, to ancient cultures and modern civilization, so that you will proclaim the dignity of every human being, as revealed by me, the Son of Man". If you defend the inalienable dignity of every human being, you will be revealing to the world the true face of Jesus Christ, who is one with every man, every woman and every child, no matter how poor, no matter how weak or handicapped.
17. How does Jesus send you? He promises neither sword nor money nor power, nor any of the things which the means of social communications make attractive to people today. He gives you instead grace and truth. He sends you out with the powerful message of his Paschal Mystery, with the truth of his Cross and Resurrection. That is all he gives you, and that is all you need.
This grace and truth will in turn give rise to courage. Following Christ has always demanded courage. The Apostles, the martyrs, entire generations of missionaries, saints and confessors – known and unknown, and in every part of the world – have had the strength to stand firm in the face of misunderstanding and adversity. This is also true here in Asia. Among all the peoples of this continent Christians have paid the price of their fidelity and that is the sure source of the Church’s confidence.
18. And so we come back to your original question: what does the Church and the Pope expect of the young people of the Tenth World Youth Day? That you confess Jesus Christ. And that you learn to proclaim all that the message of Christ contains for the true liberation and genuine progress of humanity. This is what Christ expects of you. This is what the Church looks for in the young people of the Philippines, of Asia, of the world. In this way your own cultures will find that you speak a language which is already echoed in some way in the ancient traditions of Asia: the language of true interior peace and the fullness of life, now and for ever.
Because Christ says to you: "I am sending you", you become a sign of hope and the object of our trust in the future. In a special way, you, the young people of the 10th World Youth Day, are a sign, an "epiphany" of Jesus Christ, a manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
19. Lord Jesus Christ!
Through this 10th World Youth Day, put "new life" into the hearts of the young people gathered here in Luneta Park, in Manila, in the Philippines.
Saint John writes that the life you give is the "light of men" (Jn. 1:4). Help these young men and women to take that light back with them to all the places from which they have come. Let their light shine for all peoples: for their families, for their cultures and societies, for their economic and political systems, for the whole international order.
Coming into the room where the disciples were gathered, after your Resurrection, you said: "Peace be with you!" (Jn. 20:21). Make these young people bearers of your peace. Teach them the meaning of what you said on the Mountain: "Blest are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons and daughters of God."
Send them as the Father sent you: to free their brothers and sisters from fear and sin; for the glory of our Heavenly Father. Amen.
[At the end of the Prayer Vigil, John Paul II addresses the young people in the following words.
You are very good young people. It is incredible but it is true. You are indeed very good young people. We need the Filipinos to inspire us. This is true. You are all wonderful. Do you know where the next world youth day will be held? It will be in Paris! I just revealed a top secret. May I invite the Bishops to give the blessing?
Sunday, 15th February - Eucharistic Concelebration
"Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
1. We are celebrating the Mass of the Santo Niño of Cebu, the Child Jesus whose birth at Bethlehem the Church has just commemorated at Christmas. Bethlehem signifies the beginning on earth of the mission which the Son received from the Father, the mission which is at the heart of our reflections during this 10th World Youth Day. In today’s liturgy we find a magnificent commentary on the theme of the World Youth Day: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you".
Isaiah says: "For there is a child born for us, a son given to us: and dominion is laid on his shoulders" (Is. 9: 5). That Child came from the Father as the Prince of Peace, and his coming brought light into the world. The Prophet goes on: "The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light: on those who live in a land of deep shadow, a light has shone. You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase" (Is. 9: 1-2). The happy event which the Prophet foretold took place at Bethlehem, the Christmas event which Christians everywhere celebrate with great joy: in Rome, in the Philippines and in all the countries of Asia and throughout the rest of the world.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Church in the Philippines, dear young people of the Tenth World Youth Day all gathered here from different peoples, and languages, and cultures, and continents, and local Churches: What is the deepest joy of our common joy? The deepest source of our joy is the fact that the Father sent the Son to save the world. The Son takes upon himself the weight of the sins of humanity, and in this way redeems us and guides us on the path that leads to union with the Most Blessed Trinity with God. This is the deepest source of our joy, of the joy of all of us, and also the joy of myself. It is my joy and it is your joy.
2. When we repeat in the Responsorial Psalm: "Here I am Lord, send me", we hear a distant echo of what the Eternal Son said to the Father on coming into the world: "I have come to do your will, O God" (Heb. 10: 7). Here I am, Father, send me. He has come to do the will of the Father. The Father so loved the world that he gave his only Son for man’s salvation. In turn, the Son so loved the Father that he made his own the Father’s love for sinful and needy humanity. In this eternal dialogue between the Father and the Son, the Son declared his readiness to come into the world to achieve through his Passion and Death the redemption of mankind.
Today’s Gospel is a commentary on how Jesus lived that Messianic mission. It shows us that when Jesus was twelve years old so you are older a little, perhaps he was already aware of his destiny. Tired after the long search for her Son, Mary said to him: "My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been looking for you". And he replied: "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs? (Lk. 2: 48-49) This awareness deepened and grew in Jesus with the years, until it burst forth in all its strength when he began his public preaching. The Father’s power at work in him was then gradually revealed in his words and works. It was revealed in a definitive way when he gave himself completely to the Father on the Cross. In Gethsemane, the night before his Passion, Jesus renewed his obedience: "Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done" (Ibid. 22: 42). He remained faithful to what he had said at twelve years of age: "I must be busy with my Father’s affairs. I must do his will". You have more than 12 years and you could understand that better. And you are understanding that better, for you are singing.
3. "Here I am Lord, send me". Here I am, here, in the Philippines, and everywhere! With our gaze fixed on Christ we repeat this verse of the Responsorial Psalm as the answer of the Tenth World Youth Day to what the Lord said to the Apostles but now says to everyone: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn. 20: 21) to the Apostles and to you the same because these words of Christ have become not just the theme but also the guiding force of this magnificent gathering here in Manila. After last evening’s meditation and Vigil, this Eucharistic Sacrifice "consecrates" our response to the Lord: in eucharistic union with him, all together we reply: "Send me!".
What does this mean? It means that we are ready to do our part in the Lord’s mission. Every Christian shares in the mission of Christ in a unique and personal way. Bishops, priests and deacons share in Christ’s mission through the ordained ministry. Men and women Religious share in it through the spousal love manifested in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. The Christian laity share in Christ’s mission: the fathers and mothers of families, old people, young people and children; simple people and those who are highly educated; people who till the soil, factory workers, engineers, technicians, doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel. Christ’s mission is shared by teachers, by men and women in the legal professions, and those who serve in public life. Writers, people who work in the theater and cinema and the media, artists, musicians, sculptors and painters – all have a part in this mission, part in the messianic mission of Jesus Christ. In this mission there is a role for university professors, scientists, specialists in every field, and people in the world of culture. In Christ’s mission a part belongs to you, the citizens of the Philippines and people of the Far East: Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians; Christians from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific; Christians from the Middle East, Europe and Africa, the Americas. Every baptized person has a part in Christ’s mission, in the Church and through the Church. And this participation in Christ’s mission constitutes the Church. That is the Church: a living participation in Christ’s mission! Do you all understand that?
4. On the 400th anniversary of its ecclesiastical independence and the setting up of its own hierarchical structure, the Church in the Philippines is called to a profound renewal. The direction of this renewal has already been indicated in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines held in 1991. That Synod committed the Filipino Catholic community to look more fully to Christ and to find in him its pattern and its inspiration. The Synod exhorted the laity to play a fuller role in the Church’s elevating and liberating service to the human family. The Final Document says: "All the lay faithful are called to heal and transform society, to prepare the temporal order for the final establishment of the Kingdom of God" (Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Council Document, 435).
That is for you, for the young people of the Philippines, young Filipinos. And that is also for all of us, if a part is doing something of the Church, the whole Church participates. It is also for us, for me, the Bishop of Rome, for European Bishops, for African Bishops, American Bishops and for the great pilgrimage of youth from other countries and other continents. That is for us! It is not a private affair of the Filipino Church. It is our common affair. We are all involved in what a part of the Church, a local Church, is doing, is undertaking. Res nostra agitur. Do you understand Latin?
5. Within this commitment of the whole People of God, what is the role of young people in continuing the Messianic mission of Christ? What is your part, your role? We have already meditated on this during the World Youth Day and especially last night at the Vigil. Somebody could say, "They danced, they sang, but they meditated!". It was a creative meditation of the sending they received from Christ. Meditation can also be done through dancing and through singing, through entertainment. And it was a very entertaining meditation yesterday. Finally after this meditation, I was able to sleep. And now after sleep I will add one specific challenge and appeal, which involves the healing of a source of immense frustration and suffering in many families all over the world. Parents and older people sometimes feel that they have lost contact with you, and they are upset, just as Mary and Joseph felt anguish when they realized that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem. Many elderly parents feel abandoned because of us. Is it true, or no? It should not be true! It should be otherwise! But sometimes it is true. Sometimes you are very critical of the world of adults (and I was also like you) and sometimes they are very critical of you (that is also true). Sometimes you are very critical of the world of adults, and sometimes they are very critical of you. This is not something new, and it is not always without a real basis in life. But always remember that you owe your life and upbringing to your parents, remember that: what your debt is to your parents and the 4th Commandment expresses in a concise way the demands of justice towards them. In most cases they have provided for your education at the cost of personal sacrifice. Thanks to them you have been introduced into the cultural and social heritage of your community and country, your homeland. Generally speaking, your parents have been your first teachers in the faith. Parents therefore have a right to expect from their sons and daughters the mature fruits of their efforts, just as children and young people have the right to expect from their parents the love and care which leads to a healthy development. All that is the Fourth Commandment. The Fourth Commandment is very rich. I suggest that you meditate about the Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue of God. I am asking you to build bridges of dialogue and communication with your parents. No splendid isolation! Communication! Love! Be a healthy influence on society to help to break down the barriers which have been raised between generations! No barriers! No barriers! Communion between generations, between parents and sons and daughters. Communion!
In this atmosphere, Jesus can say I send you! It begins in the family home where Jesus says first, "I send you". And to the parents he says, "I send your son. I send your daughter. I say to them, ‘Follow me!’". All that requires the right atmosphere, complete image of the social life in the Philippines and everywhere. And it is also this spiritual environment in which our sending is realized. "As the Father sent me", says Christ, "I am sending you".
How many young people think they are free because they have thrown off every restraint and every principle of responsibility? How many of them think that because certain forms of behavior are socially accepted they are therefore morally right? They abuse the beautiful gift of sexuality; they abuse drink and drugs, thinking that such behavior is all right because certain sectors of society tolerate it. Objective moral norms are abandoned under peer pressure and under the pervasive influence of trends and fashions publicized by the media. Millions of young people the world over are falling into subtle but real forms of moral slavery. And you understand what Jesus means when he says, "I send you to confront this situation, among your brothers and sisters, other young people".
6. Beloved ones, sisters and brothers: build your lives on the one model that will not deceive you! I invite you to open the Gospel and discover that Jesus Christ wants to be your "friend". He wants to be your "companion" at every stage on the road of life. He wants to be the "way", your path through the anxieties, doubts, hopes and dreams of happiness. He is the "truth" that gives meaning to your efforts and your struggles. He wants to give you "life", as he gave new life to the young man of Nain, and gave a whole new future to Zacchaeus who was dead in spirit through ambition and greed. He is your "resurrection", your victory over sin and death, the fulfilment of your desire to live forever. Because of this he will be your "joy", the "rock" on which your weakness will be turned into strength and optimism. He is our salvation, our hope and happiness and peace.
Christ! Christ! Christ! I speak without abbreviation. Worse! I am adding something.
When Christ becomes all of this for you, the world and the Church will have solid reasons for hope for the future. For on you will depend the Third Millennium, which sometimes appears as a marvellous new epoch for humanity but which also raises not a few fears and anxieties. I say this as one who has lived through a large portion of the twentieth century which is now coming to an end. In this century many sad and destructive things have happened, but at the same time we have experienced so many good things which sustain our hope and optimism. The future depends on your maturity! The Church looks to the future with confidence when she hears from your lips the same answer that Jesus gave Mary and Joseph when they found him in the Temple: "Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?" (Lk. 2: 49). He answered your answer, the same! He was younger, you’re older.
7. Dear young people: the 10th World Youth Day is coming to a close. It is time to commit yourselves more fully to following Christ in the fulfilment of his saving mission. Every form of the apostolate and every kind of service must have its source in Christ. When he says: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn. 20: 21), he also makes you capable of this mission. In a sense he shares himself with you. This is precisely what Saint Paul writes about: God chose us in Christ before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted sons and daughters. It is precisely through the grace of being the adopted children of God that we are capable of taking up the mission entrusted to us by Christ. We must leave Luneta Park with a more confident awareness of this extraordinary fact!
I see if you applaud, it is still reason to be applauded. That is a good sign that you are thinking, reflecting. And I admire your reflection. I admire the grace of our Lord dwelling in your reflection, in your applauding also. So the Pope not only speaks. He is having a dialogue. He speaks and he hears, he listens and you are speaking. And what you speak is perhaps more important. But you speak by applauding!
We have today a great delay. But this day should not finish. It should continue for ever and ever. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb. 13: 8). If you take up his cause, and the mission which he gives you, then the whole human family, and the Church in every part of the world, can look to the Third Millennium with hope and trust. Dear young people of the Philippines, of Asia, of the Far East and of the entire world: be a sign of hope for the Church, for your countries and for all humanity! Be a sign of hope! Like the "great light"... May your light spread out from Manila to the farthest corners of the world. Like the "great light" which shone in the night at Bethlehem. Be sons and daughters of the Light!
Yesterday I said, "At the beginning, more and more shining points". And today all are shining! Very nice, very nice people, young people!
Before, Spanish was also spoken in the Philippines. Tomorrow, America. But of mostly Filipino language, not American. A common language, a Christian language.
8. Dear People of God in the Philippines, go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth – your own world first, your families, your communities and the nation to which you belong and which you love; and the wider world of Asia, towards which the Church in the Philippines has a special responsibility before the Lord; you Filipino young people have a special responsibility before the Lord for Asia. And all of you, not only the Filipino people (Mubuhay!), have the same responsibility before the Lord and the world beyond, working through faith for the renewal of God’s whole creation. That is your responsibility, your calling, everywhere, in Europe, in Africa, in both Americas, in Australia, everywhere!
May God who began this work in you – 400 years ago for others, many centuries ago, some more, some less – bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ! That is my conclusion and my cordial wish for all of you – conclusion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! Amen!"