.- In his Message for the 19th World Youth Day, published today, Pope John Paul II reminds young people that “only encountering Jesus will give full meaning to your life.” “Do not let yourselves be distracted in this search. Persevere in it because your full realization and happiness are at stake,” the Pope wrote in the message entitled “We want to see Jesus.” In the text dated February 22, Feast of the Chair of Peter, the Holy Father reminds that “the desire to see God lives in the heart of every man and woman” and calls young people to “let yourselves look into Jesus’ eyes, so that the desire to see the light, to enjoy the splendor of Truth may grow in you.”
“Do you, dear young people, want to contemplate the beauty of this face? This is the question that I ask you on this World Youth Day, 2004,” which will be celebrated on April 4, Palm Sunday. “Do not answer in a hurry,” he continues.
“Before anything, think about it in silence. Let this ardent desire to see God, a desire sometimes suffocated by the noise of the world and the seductions of pleasure, emerge from the depths of your heart. Allow this desire to emerge and you will have the marvelous experience of encountering Jesus,” he added.
“If you learn how to discover Jesus in the Eucharist, you will know how to discover Him also in your brothers and sisters, especially in the poor. The Eucharist, received with love and adored with fervor, becomes a school of freedom and charity to carry out the commandment of love.”
See you at Cologne
After recalling that at the end of the Holy Year of Redemption in 1984 he presented young people with a large wooden cross that “has traveled to different countries since then in preparation for World Youth Days,” the Pope affirmed that “this year, on the 20th anniversary of this event, the cross will be solemnly welcomed in Berlin, and from there it will make a pilgrimage all over Germany, reaching Cologne next year” where World Youth Day will be celebrated.
“Your peers expect you to be witnesses to the One Whom you have found and who gives you life. In the reality of daily life, become fearless witnesses to a love that is stronger than death. It is up to you to accept this challenge!”
“Put your talents and your youthful ardor at the service of announcing the Good News. Be enthusiastic friends of Jesus who present the Lord to everyone who wants to see Him, especially to those who are far from Him. You should feel responsible for evangelizing your friends and all your peers,” he concluded.