"The art of choosing well, especially today, means not seeking approval, not plunging into a consumerist mentality that discourages originality, and not giving into the cult of appearances." The young people of Panama “passed” the WYD cross to the young Portuguese. The diocesan celebration of WYD will take place on the Sunday of Christ the King.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Life “is the time of strong, decisive, eternal choices. Trivial choices lead to a trivial life; great choices to a life of greatness. Indeed, we become what we choose, for better or for worse”. The choices made for oneself or to follow "God's dreams", first of all the works of mercy, were the reflection proposed by Pope Francis in the Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the universe.
At the end of the celebration, there was the handing over of the Cross and the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani, symbols of the World Youth Days, from the representation of young Panamanians to young Portuguese, who will host the next WYD. In this regard, Francis announced that he had decided to transfer, starting from next year, the diocesan celebration of WYD from Palm Sunday to Christ the King Sunday.
"Dear young people - Francis said in his homily - dear brothers and sisters, let us not give up on great dreams. Let us not settle only for what is necessary. The Lord does not want us to narrow our horizons or to remain parked on the roadside of life. He wants us to race boldly and joyfully towards lofty goals. We were not created to dream about vacations or the weekend, but to make God’s dreams come true in this world. God made us capable of dreaming, so that we could embrace the beauty of life. The works of mercy are the most beautiful works in life. If you are dreaming about real glory, not the glory of this passing world but the glory of God, this is the path to follow. For the works of mercy give glory to God more than anything else."
"Yet how do we begin to make great dreams come true? With great choices. Today’s Gospel speaks to us about this as well. Indeed, at the last judgement, the Lord will judge us on the choices we have made. He seems almost not to judge, but merely to separate the sheep from the goats, whereas being good or evil depends on us. He only draws out the consequences of our choices, brings them to light and respects them. Life, we come to see, is a time for making robust, decisive, eternal choices. Trivial choices lead to a trivial life; great choices to a life of greatness. Indeed, we become what we choose, for better or for worse. If we choose to steal, we become thieves. If we choose to think of ourselves, we become self-centred. If we choose to hate, we become angry. If we choose to spend hours on a cell phone, we become addicted. Yet if we choose God, daily we grow in his love, and if we choose to love others, we find true happiness."
"Because the beauty of our choices depends on love. Jesus knows that if we are self-absorbed and indifferent, we remain paralyzed, but if we give ourselves to others, we become free. The Lord of life wants us to be full of life, and he tells us the secret of life: we come to possess it only by giving it away. Yet there are obstacles that can make our choices difficult: fear, insecurity, unanswered questions…. Love, however, demands that we move beyond these, and not keep wondering why life is the way it is, and expecting answers to fall down from heaven. No, love pushes us to go beyond the why, and instead to ask for whom, to pass from asking, “Why am I alive?” to “For whom am I living?” From “Why is this happening to me?” to “Whom can I help?” For whom? Not just for myself! Life is already full of choices we make for ourselves: what to study, which friends to have, what home to buy, what hobbies or interests to pursue. We can waste years thinking about ourselves, without ever actually starting to love. Alessandro Manzoni offered a good piece of advice: “We ought to aim rather at doing well then being well: and thus we should come, in the end, to be even better” (I Promessi Sposi [The Betrothed], Chapter XXXVIII). Not only doubts and questions can undermine great and generous choices, but many other obstacles as well. Feverish consumerism can overwhelm our hearts with superfluous things. An obsession with pleasure may seem the only way to escape problems, yet it simply postpones them. A fixation with our rights can lead us to neglect our responsibilities to others. Then, there is the great misunderstanding about love, which is more than powerful emotions, but primarily a gift, a choice and a sacrifice."
"The art of choosing well, especially today, means not seeking approval, not plunging into a consumerist mentality that discourages originality, and not giving into the cult of appearances. Choosing life means resisting the “throwaway culture” and the desire to have “everything now”, in order to direct our lives towards the goal of heaven, towards God’s dreams. Each day, in our heart, we face many choices. I would like to give you one last piece of advice to help train you to choose well. If we look within ourselves, we can see two very different questions arising. One asks, “What do I feel like doing?” This question often proves misleading, since it suggests that what really counts is thinking about ourselves and indulging in our wishes and impulses. The question that the Holy Spirit plants in our hearts is a very different one: not “What do you feel like doing?” but “What is best for you?” That is the choice we have to make daily: what do I feel like doing or what is best for me? This interior discernment can result either in frivolous choices or in decisions that shape our lives. Let us look to Jesus and ask him for the courage to choose what is best for us, to enable us to follow him in the way of love. And in this way to discover joy. ”.