World Youth Day Sydney 2008
XXIII Jornada Mundial de la Juventud - in Australia
10th international WYD / JMJ - Sydney, 15-20 July 2008
Benedict XVI's homily at Mass for the 23rd World Youth Day
Dear Friends, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). We have seen this promise fulfilled! On the day of Pentecost the Risen Lord, seated at the right hand of the Father, sent the Spirit upon the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. In the power of that Spirit, Peter and the Apostles went forth to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In every age, and in every language, the Church throughout the world continues to proclaim the marvels of God and to call all nations and peoples to faith, hope and new life in Christ.
In these days I too have come, as the Successor of St Peter, to this magnificent land of Australia. I have come to confirm you, my young brothers and sisters, in your faith and to encourage you to open your hearts to the power of Christ’s Spirit and the richness of his gifts. I pray that this great assembly, which unites young people “from every nation under heaven”, will be a new Upper Room. May the fire of God’s love descend to fill your hearts, unite you ever more fully to the Lord and his Church, and send you forth, a new generation of apostles, to bring the world to Christ!
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. These words of the Risen Lord have a special meaning for those young people who will be confirmed, sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, at today’s Mass. But they are also addressed to each of us – to all those who have received the Spirit’s gift of reconciliation and new life at Baptism, who have welcomed him into their hearts as their helper and guide at Confirmation, and who daily grow in his gifts of grace through the Holy Eucharist. At each Mass, in fact, the Holy Spirit descends anew, invoked by the solemn prayer of the Church, not only to transform our gifts of bread and wine into the Lord’s body and blood, but also to transform our lives, to make us, in his power, “one body, one spirit in Christ.”
But what is this “power” of the Holy Spirit? It is the power of God’s life! It is the power of the same Spirit who hovered over the waters at the dawn of creation and who, in the fullness of time, raised Jesus from the dead. It is the power which points us, and our world, towards the coming of the Kingdom of God. In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that a new age has begun, in which the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all humanity. He himself, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, came among us to bring us that Spirit. As the source of our new life in Christ, the Holy Spirit is also, in a very real way, the soul of the Church, the love which binds us to the Lord and one another, and the light which opens our eyes to see all around us the wonders of God’s grace.
Here in Australia, this “great south land of the Holy Spirit”, all of us have had an unforgettable experience of the Spirit’s presence and power in the beauty of nature. Our eyes have been opened to see the world around us as it truly is: “charged”, as the poet says, “with the grandeur of God”, filled with the glory of his creative love. Here too, in this great assembly of young Christians from all over the world, we have had a vivid experience of the Spirit’s presence and power in the life of the Church. We have seen the Church for what she truly is: the Body of Christ, a living community of love, embracing people of every race, nation and tongue, of every time and place, in the unity born of our faith in the Risen Lord.
The power of the Spirit never ceases to fill the Church with life! Through the grace of the Church’s sacraments, that power also flows deep within us, like an underground river which nourishes our spirit and draws us ever nearer to the source of our true life, which is Christ. St Ignatius of Antioch, who died a martyr in Rome at the beginning of the 2nd century, has left us a splendid description of the Spirit’s power dwelling within us. He spoke of the Spirit as a fountain of living water springing up within his heart and whispering: “Come, come to the Father.”
Yet this power, the grace of the Spirit, is not something we can merit or achieve, but only receive as pure gift. God’s love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within. We have to let it break through the hard crust of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age. Only then can we let it ignite our imagination and shape our deepest desires. That is why prayer is so important: daily prayer, private prayer in the quiet of our hearts and before the Blessed Sacrament, and liturgical prayer in the heart of the Church. Prayer is pure receptivity to God’s grace, love in action, communion with the Spirit who dwells within us, leading us, through Jesus, in the Church, to our heavenly Father. In the power of his Spirit, Jesus is always present in our hearts, quietly waiting for us to be still with him, to hear his voice, to abide in his love, and to receive “power from on high”, enabling us to be salt and light for our world.
At his Ascension, the Risen Lord told his disciples: “You will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” Here, in Australia, let us thank the Lord for the gift of faith, which has come down to us like a treasure passed on from generation to generation in the communion of the Church. Here, in Oceania, let us give thanks in a special way for all those heroic missionaries, dedicated priests and religious, Christian parents and grandparents, teachers and catechists who built up the Church in these lands – witnesses like Blessed Mary MacKillop, Saint Peter Chanel, Blessed Peter To Rot, and so many others! The power of the Spirit, revealed in their lives, is still at work in the good they left behind, in the society which they shaped and which is being handed on to you.
Dear young people, let me now ask you a question. What will you leave to the next generation? Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure? Are you living your lives in a way that opens up space for the Spirit in the midst of a world that wants to forget God, or even rejects him in the name of a falsely-conceived freedom? How are you using the gifts you have been given, the “power” which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you? What legacy will you leave to young people yet to come? What difference will you make?
The power of the Holy Spirit does not only enlighten and console us. It also points us to the future, to the coming of God’s Kingdom. What a magnificent vision of a humanity redeemed and renewed we see in the new age promised by today’s Gospel! St Luke tells us that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all God’s promises, the Messiah who fully possesses the Holy Spirit in order to bestow that gift upon all mankind. The outpouring of Christ’s Spirit upon humanity is a pledge of hope and deliverance from everything that impoverishes us. It gives the blind new sight; it sets the downtrodden free, and it creates unity in and through diversity. This power can create a new world: it can “renew the face of the earth”!
Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished – not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed. A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships. Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of his love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity.
The world needs this renewal! In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair. How many of our contemporaries have built broken and empty cisterns in a desperate search for meaning – the ultimate meaning that only love can give? This is the great and liberating gift which the Gospel brings: it reveals our dignity as men and women created in the image and likeness of God. It reveals humanity’s sublime calling, which is to find fulfilment in love. It discloses the truth about man and the truth about life.
The Church also needs this renewal! She needs your faith, your idealism and your generosity, so that she can always be young in the Spirit! The Apostle Paul reminds us that each and every Christian has received a gift meant for building up the Body of Christ. The Church especially needs the gifts of young people, all young people. She needs to grow in the power of the Spirit who even now gives joy to your youth and inspires you to serve the Lord with gladness. Open your hearts to that power! I address this plea in a special way to those of you whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Do not be afraid to say “yes” to Jesus, to find your joy in doing his will, giving yourself completely to the pursuit of holiness, and using all your talents in the service of others!
In a few moments, we will celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy Spirit will descend upon the confirmands; they will be “sealed” with the gift of the Spirit and sent forth to be Christ’s witnesses. What does it mean to receive the “seal” of the Holy Spirit? It means being indelibly marked, inalterably changed, a new creation. For those who have received this gift, nothing can ever be the same! Being “baptized” in the one Spirit means being set on fire with the love of God. Being “given to drink” of the Spirit means being refreshed by the beauty of the Lord’s plan for us and for the world, and becoming in turn a source of spiritual refreshment for others. Being “sealed with the Spirit” means not being afraid to stand up for Christ, letting the truth of the Gospel permeate the way we see, think and act, as we work for the triumph of the civilization of love.
As we pray for the confirmands, let us ask that the power of the Holy Spirit will revive the grace of our own Confirmation. May he pour out his gifts in abundance on all present, on this city of Sydney, on this land of Australia and on all its people! May each of us be renewed in the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of wonder and awe in God’s presence!
Through the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, may this 23rd World Youth Day be experienced as a new Upper Room, from which all of us, burning with the fire and love of the Holy Spirit, go forth to proclaim the Risen Christ and to draw every heart to him! Amen.
Saluto di cuore i giovani di lingua italiana, ed estendo il mio affettuoso pensiero a quanti sono originari dell’Italia e vivono in Australia. Al termine di questa straordinaria esperienza di Chiesa, che ci ha fatto vivere una rinnovata Pentecoste, tornate a casa rinvigoriti dalla forza dello Spirito Santo. Siate testimoni di Cristo risorto, speranza dei giovani e dell’intera famiglia umana!
Chers jeunes francophones, l’Esprit Saint est la source du message de Jésus-Christ et de son action salvifique. Il parle au cœur de chacun le langage qu’il comprend. La diversité des dons de l’Esprit vous fait comprendre la richesse de grâces qui est en Dieu. Puissiez-vous vous ouvrir à son souffle ! Puissiez-vous permettre son action en vous et autour de vous ! Vous vivrez ainsi en Dieu et vous témoignerez que le Christ est le Sauveur que le monde espère.
Auch euch, liebe junge Freunde deutscher Sprache, gilt mein herzlicher Gruß. Der Heilige Geist ist ein Geist der Gemeinschaft und wirkt Verständigung und Kommunikation. Sprecht mit anderen über eure Hoffnungen und Ideale, und sprecht von Gott und mit Gott! Glücklich ist der Mensch, der in der Liebe Gottes und in der Liebe zum Nächsten lebt. Gottes Geist führe euch auf Wegen des Friedens!
Queridos jóvenes, en Cristo se cumplen todas las promesas de salvación verdadera para la humanidad. Él tiene para cada uno de vosotros un proyecto de amor en el que se encuentra el sentido y la plenitud de la vida, y espera de todos vosotros que hagáis fructificar los dones que os ha dado, siendo sus testigos de palabra y con el propio ejemplo. No lo defraudéis.
Amados jovens de língua portuguesa, queridos amigos em Cristo! Sabeis que Jesus não vos quer sozinhos; disse Ele: «Eu rogarei ao Pai e Ele vos dará outro Consolador para estar convosco para sempre, o Espírito da verdade (…) que vós conheceis, porque habita convosco e está em vós» (Jo 14, 16-17). É verdade! Sobre vós desceu uma língua de fogo do Pentecostes: é a vossa marca de cristãos. Mas não foi para a guardardes só para vós, porque «a manifestação do Espírito é dada a cada um para proveito comum» (1 Cor 12, 7). Levai este Fogo santo a todos os cantos da terra. Nada e ninguém O poderá apagar, porque desceu do céu. Tal é a vossa força, caros jovens amigos! Por isso, vivei do Espírito e para o Espírito!
Benedict XVI's message at the Angelus
"Dear Young Friends, in the beautiful prayer that we are about to recite, we reflect on Mary as a young woman, receiving the Lord’s summons to dedicate her life to him in a very particular way, a way that would involve the generous gift of herself, her womanhood, her motherhood. Imagine how she must have felt. She was filled with apprehension, utterly overwhelmed at the prospect that lay before her.
The angel understood her anxiety and immediately sought to reassure her. “Do not be afraid, Mary…. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:30, 35). It was the Spirit who gave her the strength and courage to respond to the Lord’s call. It was the Spirit who helped her to understand the great mystery that was to be accomplished through her. It was the Spirit who enfolded her with his love and enabled her to conceive the Son of God in her womb.
This scene is perhaps the pivotal moment in the history of God’s relationship with his people. During the Old Testament, God revealed himself partially, gradually, as we all do in our personal relationships. It took time for the chosen people to develop their relationship with God. The Covenant with Israel was like a period of courtship, a long engagement. Then came the definitive moment, the moment of marriage, the establishment of a new and everlasting covenant. As Mary stood before the Lord, she represented the whole of humanity. In the angel’s message, it was as if God made a marriage proposal to the human race. And in our name, Mary said yes.
In fairy tales, the story ends there, and all “live happily ever after”. In real life it is not so simple. For Mary there were many struggles ahead, as she lived out the consequences of the “yes” that she had given to the Lord. Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her heart. When Jesus was 12 years old, she experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when, for 3 days, the child went missing. And after his public ministry, she suffered the agony of witnessing his crucifixion and death. Throughout her trials she remained faithful to her promise, sustained by the Spirit of fortitude. And she was gloriously rewarded.
Dear young people, we too must remain faithful to the “yes” that we have given to the Lord’s offer of friendship. We know that he will never abandon us. We know that he will always sustain us through the gifts of the Spirit. Mary accepted the Lord’s “proposal” in our name. So let us turn to her and ask her to guide us as we struggle to remain faithful to the life-giving relationship that God has established with each one of us. She is our example and our inspiration, she intercedes for us with her Son, and with a mother’s love she shields us from harm."
After the Angelus:
"Dear Friends, The time has come for me to say good-bye – or rather, to say arrivederci! I thank you all for your participation in WYD 2008, here in Sydney, and I look forward to seeing you again in 3 years’ time. World Youth Day 2011 will take place in Madrid, Spain. Until then, let us continue to pray for one another, and let us joyfully bear witness to Christ before the world. May God bless you all."
Benedict XVI to the Young People at the Vigil at Randwick Racecourse
Dear Young People, Once again this evening we have heard Christ’s great promise – “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." And we have heard his summons – “be my witnesses throughout the world” (Acts 1:8). These were the very last words which Jesus spoke before his Ascension into heaven. How the Apostles felt upon hearing them, we can only imagine. But we do know that their deep love for Jesus, and their trust in his word, prompted them to gather and to wait; to wait not aimlessly, but together, united in prayer, with the women and Mary in the Upper Room. Tonight, we do the same. Gathered before our much-travelled Cross and the icon of Mary, and under the magnificent constellation of the Southern Cross, we pray. Tonight, I am praying for you and for young people throughout the world. Be inspired by the example of your Patrons! Accept into your hearts and minds the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit! Recognize and believe in the power of the Spirit in your lives!
The other day we talked of the unity and harmony of God’s creation and our place within it. We recalled how in the great gift of baptism we, who are made in God’s image and likeness, have been reborn, we have become God’s adopted children, a new creation. And so it is as children of Christ’s light – symbolized by the lit candles you now hold – that we bear witness in our world to the radiance no darkness can overcome.
Tonight we focus our attention on how to become witnesses. We need to understand the person of the Holy Spirit and his vivifying presence in our lives. This is not easy to comprehend. Indeed the variety of images found in scripture referring to the Spirit – wind, fire, breath – indicate our struggle to articulate an understanding of him. Yet we do know that it is the Holy Spirit who, though silent and unseen, gives direction and definition to our witness to Jesus Christ.
You are already well aware that our Christian witness is offered to a world which in many ways is fragile. The unity of God’s creation is weakened by wounds which run particularly deep when social relations break apart, or when the human spirit is all but crushed through the exploitation and abuse of persons. Indeed, society today is being fragmented by a way of thinking that is inherently short-sighted, because it disregards the full horizon of truth – the truth about God and about us. By its nature, relativism fails to see the whole picture. It ignores the very principles which enable us to live and flourish in unity, order and harmony.
What is our response, as Christian witnesses, to a divided and fragmented world? How can we offer the hope of peace, healing and harmony to those “stations” of conflict, suffering, and tension through which you have chosen to march with this World Youth Day Cross? Unity and reconciliation cannot be achieved through our efforts alone. God has made us for one another and only in God and his Church can we find the unity we seek. Yet, in the face of imperfections and disappointments – both individual and institutional – we are sometimes tempted to construct artificially a “perfect” community. That temptation is not new. The history of the Church includes many examples of attempts to bypass or override human weaknesses or failures in order to create a perfect unity, a spiritual utopia.
Such attempts to construct unity in fact undermine it! To separate the Holy Spirit from Christ present in the Church’s institutional structure would compromise the unity of the Christian community, which is precisely the Spirit’s gift! It would betray the nature of the Church as the living temple of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit, in fact, who guides the Church in the way of all truth and unifies her in communion and in the works of ministry. Unfortunately the temptation to “go it alone” persists. Some today portray their local community as somehow separate from the so-called institutional Church, by speaking of the former as flexible and open to the Spirit and the latter as rigid and devoid of the Spirit.
Unity is of the essence of the Church; it is a gift we must recognize and cherish. Tonight, let us pray for the resolve to nurture unity: contribute to it! Resist any temptation to walk away! For it is precisely the comprehensiveness, the vast vision, of our faith – solid yet open, consistent yet dynamic, true yet constantly growing in insight – that we can offer our world. Dear young people, is it not because of your faith that friends in difficulty or seeking meaning in their lives have turned to you? Be watchful! Listen! Through the dissonance and division of our world, can you hear the concordant voice of humanity? From the forlorn child in a Darfur camp, or a troubled teenager, or an anxious parent in any suburb, or perhaps even now from the depth of your own heart, there emerges the same human cry for recognition, for belonging, for unity. Who satisfies that essential human yearning to be one, to be immersed in communion, to be built up, to be led to truth? The Holy Spirit! This is the Spirit’s role: to bring Christ’s work to fulfilment. Enriched with the Spirit’s gifts, you will have the power to move beyond the piecemeal, the hollow utopia, the fleeting, to offer the consistency and certainty of Christian witness!
Friends, when reciting the Creed we state: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life”. The “Creator Spirit” is the power of God giving life to all creation and the source of new and abundant life in Christ. The Spirit sustains the Church in union with the Lord and in fidelity to the apostolic Tradition. He inspired the Sacred Scriptures and he guides God’s People into the fullness of truth. In all these ways the Spirit is the “giver of life”, leading us into the very heart of God. So, the more we allow the Spirit to direct us, the more perfect will be our configuration to Christ and the deeper our immersion in the life of the Triune God.
This sharing in God’s nature occurs in the unfolding of the everyday moments of our lives where he is always present. There are times, however, when we might be tempted to seek a certain fulfilment apart from God. Jesus himself asked the Twelve: “do you also wish to go away?” Such drifting away perhaps offers the illusion of freedom. But where does it lead? To whom would we go? For in our hearts we know that it is the Lord who has “the words of eternal life”. To turn away from him is only a futile attempt to escape from ourselves. God is with us in the reality of life, not the fantasy! It is embrace, not escape, that we seek! So the Holy Spirit gently but surely steers us back to what is real, what is lasting, what is true. It is the Spirit who leads us back into the communion of the Blessed Trinity!
The Holy Spirit has been in some ways the neglected person of the Blessed Trinity. A clear understanding of the Spirit almost seems beyond our reach. Yet, when I was a small boy, my parents, like yours, taught me the Sign of the Cross. So, I soon came to realize that there is one God in three Persons, and that the Trinity is the centre of our Christian faith and life. While I grew up to have some understanding of God the Father and the Son – the names already conveyed much – my understanding of the third person of the Trinity remained incomplete. So, as a young priest teaching theology, I decided to study the outstanding witnesses to the Spirit in the Church’s history. It was on this journey that I found myself reading, among others, the great Saint Augustine.
Augustine’s understanding of the Holy Spirit evolved gradually; it was a struggle. As a young man he had followed Manichaeism - one of those attempts I mentioned earlier, to create a spiritual utopia by radically separating the things of the spirit from the things of the flesh. Hence he was at first suspicious of the Christian teaching that God had become man. Yet his experience of the love of God present in the Church led him to investigate its source in the life of the Triune God. This led him to three particular insights about the Holy Spirit as the bond of unity within the Blessed Trinity: unity as communion, unity as abiding love, and unity as giving and gift. These three insights are not just theoretical. They help explain how the Spirit works. In a world where both individuals and communities often suffer from an absence of unity or cohesion, these insights help us remain attuned to the Spirit and to extend and clarify the scope of our witness.
So, with Augustine’s help, let us illustrate something of the Holy Spirit’s work. He noted that the two words “Holy” and “Spirit” refer to what is divine about God; in other words what is shared by the Father and the Son – their communion. So, if the distinguishing characteristic of the Holy Spirit is to be what is shared by the Father and the Son, Augustine concluded that the Spirit’s particular quality is unity. It is a unity of lived communion: a unity of persons in a relationship of constant giving, the Father and the Son giving themselves to each other. We begin to glimpse, I think, how illuminating is this understanding of the Holy Spirit as unity, as communion. True unity could never be founded upon relationships which deny the equal dignity of other persons. Nor is unity simply the sum total of the groups through which we sometimes attempt to “define” ourselves. In fact, only in the life of communion is unity sustained and human identity fulfilled: we recognize the common need for God, we respond to the unifying presence of the Holy Spirit, and we give ourselves to one another in service.
Augustine’s 2nd insight – the Holy Spirit as abiding love – comes from his study of the First Letter of Saint John. John tells us that “God is love.” Augustine suggests that while these words refer to the Trinity as a whole they express a particular characteristic of the Holy Spirit. Reflecting on the lasting nature of love - “whoever abides in love remains in God and God in him.” - he wondered: is it love or the Holy Spirit which grants the abiding? This is the conclusion he reaches: “The Holy Spirit makes us remain in God and God in us; yet it is love that effects this. The Spirit therefore is God as love!” (De Trinitate). It is a beautiful explanation: God shares himself as love in the Holy Spirit. What further understanding might we gain from this insight? Love is the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit! Ideas or voices which lack love – even if they seem sophisticated or knowledgeable – cannot be “of the Spirit”. Furthermore, love has a particular trait: far from being indulgent or fickle, it has a task or purpose to fulfil: to abide. By its nature love is enduring. Again, dear friends, we catch a further glimpse of how much the Holy Spirit offers our world: love which dispels uncertainty; love which overcomes the fear of betrayal; love which carries eternity within; the true love which draws us into a unity that abides!
The 3rd insight – the Holy Spirit as gift – Augustine derived from meditating on a Gospel passage we all know and love: Christ’s conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. Here Jesus reveals himself as the giver of the living water which later is explained as the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is “God’s gift” (Jn 4:10) - the internal spring, who truly satisfies our deepest thirst and leads us to the Father. From this observation Augustine concludes that God sharing himself with us as gift is the Holy Spirit. Friends, again we catch a glimpse of the Trinity at work: the Holy Spirit is God eternally giving himself; like a never-ending spring he pours forth nothing less than himself. In view of this ceaseless gift, we come to see the limitations of all that perishes, the folly of the consumerist mindset. We begin to understand why the quest for novelty leaves us unsatisfied and wanting. Are we not looking for an eternal gift? The spring that will never run dry? With the Samaritan woman, let us exclaim: give me this water that I may thirst no more!
Dear young people, we have seen that it is the Holy Spirit who brings about the wonderful communion of believers in Jesus Christ. True to his nature as giver and gift alike, he is even now working through you. Inspired by the insights of St Augustine: let unifying love be your measure; abiding love your challenge; self-giving love your mission!
Tomorrow, that same gift of the Spirit will be solemnly conferred upon our confirmation candidates. I shall pray: “give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence… and fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe.” These gifts of the Spirit – each of which, as Saint Francis de Sales reminds us, is a way to participate in the one love of God – are neither prizes nor rewards. They are freely given. And they require only one response on the part of the receiver: I accept! Here we sense something of the deep mystery of being Christian. What constitutes our faith is not primarily what we do but what we receive. After all, many generous people who are not Christian may well achieve far more than we do. Friends, do you accept being drawn into God’s Trinitarian life? Do you accept being drawn into his communion of love?
The Spirit’s gifts working within us give direction and definition to our witness. Directed to unity, the gifts of the Spirit bind us more closely to the whole Body of Christ, equipping us better to build up the Church in order to serve the world. They call us to active and joyful participation in the life of the Church: in parishes and ecclesial movements, in religious education classes, in university chaplaincies and other catholic organizations. Yes, the Church must grow in unity, must be strengthened in holiness, must be rejuvenated, must be constantly renewed. But according to whose standard? The Holy Spirit’s! Turn to him, dear young people, and you will find the true meaning of renewal.
Tonight, gathered under the beauty of the night sky, our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude to God for the great gift of our Trinitarian faith. We recall our parents and grandparents who walked alongside us when we, as children, were taking our first steps in our pilgrim journey of faith. Now many years later, you have gathered as young adults with the Successor of Peter. I am filled with deep joy to be with you. Let us invoke the Holy Spirit: he is the artisan of God’s works. Let his gifts shape you! Just as the Church travels the same journey with all humanity, so too you are called to exercise the Spirit’s gifts amidst the ups and downs of your daily life. Let your faith mature through your studies, work, sport, music and art. Let it be sustained by prayer and nurtured by the sacraments, and thus be a source of inspiration and help to those around you. In the end, life is not about accumulation. It is much more than success. To be truly alive is to be transformed from within, open to the energy of God’s love. In accepting the power of the Holy Spirit you too can transform your families, communities and nations. Set free the gifts! Let wisdom, courage, awe and reverence be the marks of greatness!
Cari giovani italiani! Un saluto speciale a tutti voi! Custodite la fiamma che lo Spirito Santo ha acceso nei vostri cuori, perché non abbia a spegnersi, ma anzi arda sempre più e diffonda luce e calore a chi incontrerete sulla vostra strada, specialmente a quanti hanno smarrito la fede e la speranza. La Vergine Maria vegli su di voi in questa notte ed ogni giorno della vostra vita.
Chers jeunes de langue française, vous êtes venus prier ce soir l’Esprit-Saint. Sa présence silencieuse en votre cœur vous fera comprendre peu à peu le dessein de Dieu sur vous. Puisse-t-Il vous accompagner dans votre vie quotidienne et vous conduire vers une meilleure connaissance de Dieu et de votre prochain! C’est Lui qui du plus profond de votre être vous pousse vers l’unique Vérité divine et vous fait vivre authentiquement en frères.
Einen frohen Gruß richte ich an euch, liebe junge Christen aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Der Heilige Geist, der Botschafter der göttlichen Liebe, will in euren Herzen wohnen. Gebt ihm Raum in euch im Hören auf Gottes Wort, im Gebet und in eurer Solidarität mit den Armen und Leidenden. Bringt den Geist des Friedens und der Versöhnung zu den Menschen. Gott, von dem alles Gute kommt, vollende jedes gute Werk, das ihr zu seiner Ehre tut.
Queridos amigos, el Espíritu Santo dirige nuestros pasos para seguir a Jesucristo en el mundo de hoy, que espera de los cristianos una palabra de aliento y un testimonio de vida que inviten a mirar confiadamente hacia el futuro. Os encomiendo en mis plegarias, para que respondáis generosamente a lo que el Señor os pide y a lo que todos los hombres anhelan. Que Dios os bendiga.
Meus queridos amigos, recebei o Espírito Santo, para serdes Igreja! Igreja quer dizer todos nós unidos como um corpo que recebe o seu influxo vital de Jesus ressuscitado. Este dom é maior que os nossos corações, porque brota das entranhas da Santíssima Trindade. Fruto e condição: sentir-se parte uns dos outros, viver em comunhão. Para isso, jovens caríssimos, acolhei dentro de vós a força de vida que há em Jesus. Deixai-O entrar no vosso coração. Deixai-vos plasmar pelo Espírito Santo.
And now, as we move towards adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in stillness and expectation, I echo to you the words spoken by Blessed Mary MacKillop when she was just 26 years old: “Believe in the whisperings of God to your heart!”. Believe in him! Believe in the power of the Spirit of Love!"
Click here to read the rest of Benedict XVI's words during his trip:
an interview during the flight to Australia (July 12, 2008)
Welcoming ceremony at Government House of Sydney (July 17, 2008)
Welcoming celebration by the young people at Barangaroo, East Darling Harbour of Sydney (July 17, 2008)
Ecumenical Meeting in the Crypt of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney (July 18, 2008)
Meeting with representatives of other religions in the Chapter Hall of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney (July 18, 2008)
Meeting with a group of disadvantaged young people of the rehabilitation community of the University of Notre Dame (July 18, 2008)
Homily at Mass with the Australian Bishops, seminarians and novices at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney (July 19, 2008)
Meeting with benefactors and organizers of the 23rd World Youth Day (July 20, 2008)
Greeting to the volunteers of the 23rd World Youth Day (July 21, 2008)
Farewell ceremony at the International Airport of Sydney (July 21, 2008)
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