Thursday evening’s celebration of World Youth Day (WYD) 2010 at the Vatican drew a staggering number of young people to the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica. For nearly an hour, the Holy Father held the attention of the crowd, teaching that love is the key to inheriting eternal life and that life is meant to be lived “all the way.”
Entering the square aboard the popemobile to the light of thousands of yellow and white prayer candles, the Holy Father took the stage just after 8:30 p.m. to orchestral music accompanied by a chorus and chants of “Ben-e-det-to,” which is “Benedict” in Italian as well as “blessed.”
This year the World Youth Day celebration is being held on the diocesan level, but it will be held on an international level in Madrid in 2011.
After addresses by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome and a young girl welcoming the Pope and thanking him for his presence, the Holy Father was asked some questions regarding the theme of this year’s 25th anniversary message for WYD2010, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Before responding, he told the multitude of 75,000, “Thank you from (the bottom of) my heart for your presence, for this marvelous witness of faith, to want to live in communion with Jesus, and your enthusiasm to follow Jesus and live well.”
The Holy Father went on to teach that the keys to living well and attaining eternal life are held in the Ten Commandments, the "rules of love" through which we are taught to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
The Commandments, he said, "indicate the way of love with these essential points: the family, as foundation of society; life, to be respected as a gift from God; the order of sexuality, as the relation between man and woman and, finally, the truth."
God has a "precise project" for each person to find this "way of love," said the Pope, and that regardless of one's vocation, whether it is to be a scholar or a laborer, "everything is important in the eyes of God: it's beautiful if it is lived ‘all the way’ with that love that truly redeems the world."
“We ask the Lord to help us to find his will and to live it with joy!” exclaimed the Pope.
Offering advice on how to advance along the "way," Benedict XVI listed, "listening, responding, entering into believing communities, communion with Christ in the sacraments ... finally, doing, carrying out the words of faith that they may become the strength of my life.”