06/13/2018, 11.37
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Pope: 'if young people are not hungry for authentic life where will humanity end up?'

"Here is the challenge: find authentic life, not a carbon copy. Jesus offers no surrogates, but real life, true love, true wealth!". The World Cup in Russia can be an occasion for meeting, dialogue and fraternity between different cultures and religions, fostering solidarity and peace among nations ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Which path to follow?" And "if young people are not hungry for authentic life", but "destroy themselves chasing the ephemeral", "where humanity will end up?", asked Pope Francis in a reflection dedicated to the "challenge of every existence: the desire for a full, infinite life" and to the response that comes from Jesus who "offers no surrogates, but real life, true love, true richness!" .

Commenting on the parable of the rich young man he highlighted the value found in searching for a "full life" Pope Francis today began a new cycle of catechesis dedicated to the Commandments.

A group of young children, yellow cap on their heads, sat alongside the Pope for the entire general audience. Addressing them and the 20 thousand people present in St. Peter's Square the Pope also recalled that the World Cup will open tomorrow in Russia. "May this important sporting event - his hope - become an occasion for meeting, dialogue and fraternity between different cultures and religions, fostering solidarity and peace among nations".

The story of the rich young man, in the words of Francis, shows "the encounter between Jesus and a man who, on his knees, asks him how to inherit eternal life (cf. Mk 10: 17-21). In that question there is the challenge of every existence: the desire for a full, infinite life. How to get there? Which path to take? Really living, living a noble existence ... How many young people try to 'live' and destroy themselves by chasing ephemeral things. Some - he said - think it is better to extinguish this impulse, because it is dangerous. I would like to say, especially to the young: concrete problems, however serious and dramatic they may be, are not our worst enemy: the greatest danger is a bad spirit of adaptation which is not meekness or humility, but mediocrity, pusillanimity. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati said that we must live, not just get by ". "We need to ask our Heavenly Father the gift of healthy restlessness for the young of today, the ability not to be satisfied with a life without beauty, without color". "If young people are not hungry for authentic life, where will humanity end up? Where it will go with quiet young people, who are not restless".

"The question of that man of the Gospel is within each of us:  what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Jesus replies: "You know the commandments" (v. 19), and quotes a part of the Decalogue. It is a pedagogical process, with which Jesus wants to guide to a specific place; in fact it is already clear from his question that the man does not have a full life. What therefore does he need to understand? He says: «Master, I have observed all these things from my youth” (v. 20). How do you go from youth to maturity? When you start accepting your limits. It is the transition from youth to maturity. We become adults when we become relativized and we become aware of 'what is missing' (see verse 21). This man is forced to recognize that everything he can do does not exceed a "certain level", he does not go beyond a margin. How beautiful it is to be men and women! How precious is our existence! Yet there is a truth that man has often refused in the history of the last centuries, with tragic consequences: the truth of his limits, of his own limitations".

"Jesus, in the Gospel, says something that can help us:" Do not believe that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill "(Mt 5:17). The Lord Jesus brings fulfilment, he came for this. That man had to arrive at the verge of a great leap forward, where he opens up the possibility to stop living for himself, of his works, his goods and – precisely because he lacks full life - leaves everything to follow the Lord. On closer inspection, at Jesus' final invitation - immense, marvellous - there is no proposal of poverty, but of wealth, true wealth: "You are lacking in one thing: Go sell what you have and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven: then, come follow me (V. 21). Who, being able to choose between an original and a copy, would choose the copy? Here is the challenge: find authentic life, not a carbon copy. Jesus offers no surrogates, but real life, true love, true wealth! How can young people follow us in faith if they do not see us choose the original, if they see us addicted to half-measures? It takes the example of someone who invites me to 'go beyond', to 'something more'. It is bad to find half-hearted Christians, 'little' Christians. St. Ignatius called it the "magis", "the fire, the fervor of the action, that shakes the sleepy".

"The road of what is lacking passes through what is already there. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfil. We must start from reality to make the leap into 'what is missing'. We must scrutinize the ordinary to open ourselves to the extraordinary. In these catechesis we will take the two tablets of Moses as Christians, holding hands with Jesus, to pass from the illusions of youth to the treasure that is in heaven, walking behind Him. We will discover, in each of those laws, ancient and wise, the door opened by the Father who is in heaven so that the Lord Jesus, who has crossed it, leads us into real life. His life. The life of the children of God".

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