“Christ has confidence in young people and entrusts them with the very future of his mission, ‘Go and make disciples.’ Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible and create a world of brothers and sisters! And young people have confidence in Christ: they are not afraid to risk for him the only life they have, because they know they will not be disappointed.” (Pope Francis WYD 2013).
|The largest gathering of young people at Copacabana beach!|
We didn't get to go to the World Youth Day 2013, but we're putting the money we raised to a CatC:H Rural Service Project in Bicol to celebrate the Year of Faith. Please continue to pray for us!
In the meantime, there's much to love about (and learn from) the WYD. Pope Francis has a lot to teach the youth. Here are some of the things he said, along with pictures of the fruitful week. Enjoy!
"Young people are the window through which the future enters the world, thus presenting us with great challenges. Our generation will show that it can realize the promise found in each young person when we know how to give them space; how to create the material and spiritual conditions for their full development; how to give them a solid basis on which to build their lives; how to guarantee their safety and their education to be everything they can be; how to pass on to them lasting values that make life worth living; how to give them a transcendent horizon for their thirst for authentic happiness and their creativity for the good; how to give them the legacy of a world worthy of human life; and how to awaken in them their greatest potential as builders of their own destiny, sharing responsibility for the future of everyone." (Pope Francis, Welcome Ceremony at the Garden of Guanabara Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, WYD 2013)
"Young people are a powerful engine for the Church and for society. They do not need material things alone; also and above all, they need to have held up to them those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people, the memory of a people. In this Shrine, which is part of the memory of Brazil, we can almost read those values: spirituality, generosity, solidarity, perseverance, fraternity, joy; they are values whose deepest root is in the Christian faith." (Pope Francis, Homily, Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, WYD 2013)
"Dear friends, if we walk in hope, allowing ourselves to be surprised by the new wine which Jesus offers us, we have joy in our hearts and we cannot fail to be witnesses of this joy. Christians are joyful, they are never gloomy. God is at our side." (Pope Francis, Homily, Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, WYD 2013)
"'Put on faith': what does this mean? When we prepare a plate of food and we see that it needs salt, well, we 'put on' salt; when it needs oil, then you 'put on' oil. 'To put on,' that is, to place on top of, to pour over. And so it is in our life, dear young friends: if we want it to have real meaning and fulfillment, as you want and as you deserve, I say to each one of you, 'Put on faith,' and your life will take on a new flavour, it will have a compass to show you the way; 'put on hope' and every one of your days will be enlightened and your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous; 'put on love,' and your life will be like a house built on rock, your journey will be joyful, because you will find many friends to journey with you. Put on faith, put on hope, put on love!" (Pope Francis, Discourse of the Holy Father at Copacabana, WYD 2013)
"Leadership also means making the most just decision after having considered all the options from the standpoint of personal responsibility and concern for the common good. This is the way to go to the heart of the evils of a society and to overcome them, also with the boldness of courageous and free actions. In exercising our responsibility, with all its limitations, it is important to embrace all of reality, observing, pondering, evaluating, in order to make decisions in the present but with an eye to the future, reflecting on the consequences of our decisions. To act responsibly is to see one’s own actions in the light of other people’s rights and God’s judgement. To preserve this ethical sense appears today as an unprecedented historic challenge. Beyond scientific and technical competence, the present situation also demands a sense of moral obligation expressed in a social and deeply fraternal exercise of responsibility." (Pope Francis, Meeting with Representatives of Society of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, WYD 2013)
"Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of 'enjoying' the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, 'for ever,' because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage 'to swim against the tide.' Have the courage to be happy." (Pope Francis, Meeting with the Volunteers of the 28th WYD)
If you want to read more of what Pope Francis said during the WYD 2013, go here. Now, go and make disciples of all nations!