Globalization and Christian Hope

VATICAN - Benedict XVI tells the youth: “In our age of globalization, be witnesses of Christian hope all over the world.”
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “Christ is not a treasure meant for us alone; he is the most precious treasure we have, one that is meant to be shared with others. In our age of globalization, be witnesses of Christian hope all over the world. How many people long to receive this hope!” These are the words addressed by Benedict XVI to the youth of the entire world in his Message for the XXVI World Youth Day.

The Pope mentions that the upcoming World Youth Day will take place in Madrid, Spain, in August 2011, on the theme “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (cf. Col 2:7) and that it will be celebrated “at a time when Europe greatly needs to rediscover its Christian roots.” Part of being young is “desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater...Because human beings are made in the image of God, we do this in a unique and special way. We reach out for love, joy and peace...In some parts of the world, particularly in the West, today’s culture tends to exclude God, and to consider faith a purely private issue with no relevance for the life of society.” The Pope warns of the “a growing mentality of relativism, which holds that everything is equally valid, that truth and absolute points of reference do not exist. But this way of thinking does not lead to true freedom, but rather to instability, confusion and blind conformity to the fads of the moment.”

Commenting on the text from St. Paul chosen as the theme of the World Youth Day: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (cf. Col 2:7), the Pope notes that “grammatically all three terms in the original text are in the passive voice. This means that it is Christ himself who takes the initiative to plant, build up and confirm the faithful.” Benedict XVI then exhorts the youth to build their house on the rock, to try to follow Christ's word every day. “Listen to him as a true friend with whom you can share your path in life. With him at your side, you will find courage and hope to face difficulties and problems, and even to overcome disappointments and set-backs.”

In the cultural context in which we live today, “Indeed, there is a strong current of secularist thought that aims to make God marginal in the lives of people and society by proposing and attempting to create a 'paradise' without him. Yet experience tells us that a world without God becomes a 'hell': filled with selfishness, broken families, hatred between individuals and nations, and a great deficit of love, joy and hope. On the other hand, wherever individuals and nations accept God’s presence, worship him in truth and listen to his voice, then the civilization of love is being built, a civilization in which the dignity of all is respected, and communion increases, with all its benefits.”

Benedict XVI exhorts the youth to learn to “see,” to “meet” Jesus in the Eucharist, in the Sacrament of Penance, in the poor, the sick, in those in difficulty, in a personal dialogue with Him in faith, through reading the Gospels and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in prayer. “Our personal faith in Christ, which comes into being through dialogue with him, is bound to the faith of the Church. We do not believe as isolated individuals, but rather, through Baptism, we are members of this great family; it is the faith professed by the Church which reinforces our personal faith,” the Pope says. “There have been, and still are, many Christians who are living witnesses of the power of faith that is expressed in charity. They have been peacemakers, promoters of justice and workers for a more humane world, a world in accordance with God’s plan. With competence and professionalism, they have been committed in different sectors of the life of society, contributing effectively to the welfare of all... In the same way, if you believe, and if you are able to live out your faith and bear witness to it every day, you will become a means of helping other young people like yourselves to find the meaning and joy of life, which is born of an encounter with Christ!” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 4/09/2010)

Complete text of the Holy Father's Message, in English

Complete text of the Holy Father's Message, in Spanish

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