2 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/01/2007
VATICAN
Pope: Young people, search for the face of God; follow Christ with innocent hands and pure hearts
In celebrating the XXII World Youth Day, Benedict XVI urged young people to refuse violence, corruption, bribes and to live with pure hearts that “are not led astray by the thrill of pleasure”. The crucified Christ opened “God’s door” on the world and asked the “indifferent” world to open itself to His love.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) –  In an impassioned appeal, on Palm Sunday which also marked World Youth Day, Benedict XVI asked all young people to “search for the Face of God” and to follow Christ with “innocent hands and pure hearts”, hands “that are not sullied by corruption and bribes”, hearts that are not marked by “lies and hypocrisy”. With equal feeling the Pope appealed to the world which has “closed” its doors to God to listen to the crucified Christ’s message that tells each one of us: “If God’s words and the Church’s message leave you indifferent – then look to me, to the God who made himself flesh to suffer for you and with you, - see that I suffer for your love and open yourself to me and God the Father”.  

The Palm Sunday rite, which opens Holy Week and the memory of our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, began from the giant obelisk of St Peter’s square, with the blessing of the palm and olive branches, followed by a procession to the altar, in remembrance of Christ’s solemn entry into the city of  Jerusalem.   In fact an estimated 40 thousand people took part in the ceremony, for the most part young people from the Rome diocese, gathered to mark the XXII World Youth Day on the theme: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (Jn 13,34). After a long reading of Christ’s passion according to the Gospel of St Luke, which was dramatized and put to music, Benedict XVI held his homily showing how the rites of the ceremony are linked to the lives of the faithful and the entire world.  

First of all, the procession of the Palms, is “an expression of joy because we can know Christ, because he allows us to be his friends and gifts us the key to life”. The Pope added “Yes, we have seen and still see the wonders of Christ, how He leads men and women to give up the comfort of their own lives and put themselves completely at the service of those who are suffering, how He gives men and women the courage to oppose violence and lies and make room in the world for truth; how He, in secret, leads men and women to do good for others to seek reconciliation where there was hate, to make peace were there was conflict”. The Pope said that the procession is a profession of “Jesus Christ King”, asking for the “grace to follow Him”.   

The Pope then explained “what “following Christ” means in concrete terms”. He said “It means changing our interior existence.  It requires us not to close in on ourselves considering our own relationship with the exterior world our principal reason for living.   It requires that we gift ourselves to Another – for truth, for love, for God who, in Christ precedes us and shows us the way. It means making the fundamental decisions to no longer consider utility and earnings, career and success as the ultimate aim of my life, but rather to recognise as authentic criteria truth and love. It means deciding between a lives spent living for oneself or a life gifted – for a greater cause.   It means taken into serious consideration that truth and love are not abstract values; they became flesh in Christ.  By losing myself in Him, I find myself”.

Benedict XVI then commented on one of the hymns sung during the procession of the Palms, psalm 24 [23], which speaks of “going up the mountain of the Lord”, as an expression of going up towards God, in an “interior” and “exterior” sense. The Pope highlighted the “two essential conditions” to in becoming a disciple of Christ, and to “go up the mountain of the Lord”.  The first is to “search for God, to look for his Face”. He referred himself particularly to the young people “Dear young friends – how important this is in today’s world: don’t let yourselves be simply led without direction in life; don’t content yourselves with what others think or say or do.   Look intently around yourselves in your search for God.  Don’t allow the call to God to dissolves itself in your souls.  Desire that which is the greatest of all.  Desire to know Him – his Face”.   

“The other concrete condition in rising up to God is this: only those of “innocent hands and pure heart” may stay in the holy place. Innocent hands - are hands that are not used for acts ofviolence they are hands that are not sullied by corruption and bribes. Pure hearts – when is a heart pure? Hearts are pure when they are not stained by lies and hypocrisy.  Which remains as clear as spring water because it does not know duality.  A heart is pure when it is estranged from the intoxication of pleasure; a heart for which love is true and not just the passion of a moment.  Innocent hands and clean heart: if we walk together with Christ, we will rise and find the purifications which truly bring us to that height to which man is destined: friendship with God Himself.   

Benedict XVI then recalled another symbol – now no longer in use – of the Palm Sunday procession, when the priest on his arrival at the door “smote the closed door with the processional cross, which then opened before him” . The Pope explained “the image beautifully depicted the mystery of Christ who, with the wood of his cross, the strength of his love gifted to us, knocked from the world on God’s door;   a world that was failing to find access to God”.

The Pontiff concluded “with the cross Christ burst open the door to God, the door between God and humankind.  Now it is open.  But also from the other side our Lord is knocking with his cross: he is knocking on the world’s door, on the door to our hearts, which all too often and often in great numbers remains closed to God”.  

Almost in an appeal to all of the world’s “indifferent” – made so by too much science or too much pain – Benedict XVI added that Christ “ speaks to us more or less in this way: if the proof that God gives you of His existence in creation fails to open you to Him; if God’s word and the Church’s message leave you indifferent – then look at me, at the God who made himself flesh to suffer for you, with you – see that I suffer for your love and open yourself to me and God the Father”.

At the end of the celebration Benedict XVI greeted the young people in diverse languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese,  Polish and Italian.  The Pope struggled to calm the crowds into silence for the Angelus prayer.   The young people’s enthusiasm however, found an outlet at the conclusion of the ceremony when the Pope toured the entire square greeting the crowds from his open top jeep.  

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/01/2012 VATICAN
Pope: As Holy Week begins we ask ourselves, who is Jesus of Nazareth
04/04/2004 Vatican
Pope: "Young people, do not be afraid to proclaim the Gospel of the Cross!"
04/17/2011 VATICAN
Pope: A force of gravity pulls us down, towards evil, Christ lifts us on high to God
03/20/2005 VATICAN
Pope silently blesses young people from his study window
03/20/2005 VATICAN
New energies for the Church and the Pope from the Cross of Jesus, says Cardinal Ruini

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.