03/15/2010, 00.00
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Pope: Youth, do not give up your dreams of fraternity, justice and peace

In his message for the next World Youth Day, Benedict XVI illustrating the Gospel story of the young rich man calls for youth to go against a culture that exalts a freedom without values and not to let themselves be overcome by the problems of the crisis.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Young people "do not give up your dreams! Cultivate in your hearts, a desire for fraternity, justice and peace. The future is in the hands of those who can seek and finds strong reasons of life and hope”.  This is the message that Benedict XVI has addressed to young people for the 25th World Youth Day, which will be celebrated March 28, 2010, Palm Sunday, at a diocesan level.  

Knowledge of the commandments, concern for the formation of one's own conscience according to God's law, to put them into practice: this is what Jesus, the Pope writes, asks young people, who today are caught between a culture that proposes "a freedom unfettered by values, by rules by objective standards, and calls to reject any limit to the desires of the moment "and discouragement which can induce" the many problems arising from unemployment, lack of references to certain ideals and real prospects for the future. "  

 Commenting on the theme for the Day, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17), taken from the episode of the rich young man, Benedict XVI says that "this account expresses effectively Jesus' great attention to youth, to you, to your expectations, your hopes, and shows how great his desire is to meet with you personally and open a dialogue with each one of you. In fact, Christ interrupts his journey to respond to his interlocutor's question, manifesting full availability to that young man, who was moved by an ardent desire to speak with the "good Teacher," to learn from him how to follow the way of life.

  "As the young man of the Gospel, perhaps you also live situations of instability, of disturbance or of suffering, which lead you to aspire to a life that is not mediocre, and to ask yourselves: In what does a successful life consist? What must I do? What might be my plan of life? "What must I do, for my life to have full value and full meaning?". Do not be afraid to address these questions! Far from overwhelming you, they express great aspirations, which are present in your heart. Hence, they are to be listened to. They await answers that are not superficial, but able to satisfy your authentic expectations of life and happiness" "To discover the plan of life that could render you fully happy, listen to God, who has a plan of love for each one of you."  


"What must I do to inherit eternal life?", the document continues. "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" This question of the young man of the Gospel seems far from the concerns of many contemporary young people, because, as my predecessor observed, "are we not the generation, whose horizon of existence the world and temporal progress fill completely? (Letter to Young People, No. 5). But the question on "eternal life" flowers in particularly painful moments of existence, when we suffer the loss of a close person or when we live the experience of failure".  

"To ask oneself about the definitive future that awaits each one of us gives full meaning to existence, because it orients the plan of life toward horizons that are not limited and passing, but ample and profound, which lead to loving the world, so loved by God himself, to dedicate oneself to its development, but always with the liberty and joy born from faith and hope. They are horizons that help not to absolutize earthly realities, seeing that God prepares a greater prospect for us”  

The questions Jesus puts to us "are questions that go against the current of the present-day mentality, which proposes a liberty disconnected from values, rules, objective norms and invites to reject every limitation to desires of the moment. But this type of proposal instead of leading to true liberty, leads man to become a slave of himself, of his immediate desires, of idols such as power, money, unbridled pleasure and the seductions of the world, rendering him incapable of following his original vocation to love. God gives us the commandments because he wants to educate us to true liberty, because he wants to build with us a Kingdom of love, justice and peace. To listen to them and to put them into practice does not mean to be alienated, but to find the path of authentic liberty and love, because the commandments do not limit happiness, but indicate how to find it. At the beginning of his dialogue with the rich young man, Jesus reminds him that the law given by God is good because "God is good." "  

"Jesus – we finally read in the message - never tires of turning his look of love and of calling to be his disciples, but He proposes to some a more radical choice. In this Year for Priests, I would like to exhort boys and girls to be attentive if the Lord invites to a great gift, in the way of the Ministerial Priesthood, and to make oneself available to accept with generosity and enthusiasm this sign of special predilection, undertaking with a priest or spiritual director the necessary path of discernment. Do not be afraid, then, dear boys and girls, if the Lord calls you to the religious, monastic, missionary life or one of special consecration: He is able to give profound joy to one who responds with courage! "

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