This morning Pope John Paul II received youth from the diocese of Rome who are participating in a mission to their peers entitled “Jesus Downtown,” in preparation for the Year of the Eucharist, and told them that “Eucharist and mission are two inseperable realities,” and that true Eucharistic adoration must lead to mission, or it is not authentic.
"Eucharist and mission are two inseparable realities. ... Authentic celebration and adoration of the Eucharist that does not lead to mission does not exist. At the same time, mission assumes another essential Eucharistic characteristic: union of hearts."
The Holy Father said that such pastoral initiatives "introduce us in this special time of grace for the entire Church" to the Year of the Eucharist.
John Paul II expressed his hope to the youths that "this pastoral experience, which is an authentic school of communion and new evangelization, will continue and expand. I encourage you to continue so that the creativity and generosity that you demonstrate in these days may become a stimulus for the entire Church of Rome to keep its missionary spirit alive."
Advising the young people present the Pope said, "In the first place love the Eucharist. Never get tired of celebrating and adoring the Eucharist, together with the entire Christian community, especially on Sunday. Know how to put it at the center of your personal and community life, so that communion with Christ may help you to carry out your courageous choices.”
“In the second place,” he said, “have missionary passion. Do not be afraid to bear witness to hope ... which has a specific name: Jesus Christ!"
"In order to facilitate young people's encounter with true Eucharistic spirituality, do not cease forming yourselves in the school of listening to the Word of God, prayer, and celebrating the sacraments, said the Pope.
“Always remember that the first place of evangelization is the human person. ... In this sense, I encourage the diocesan service for the youth ministry to study new proposals to create true schools of evangelization for young people."
The Holy Father thanked the young people "for what you are and for all that you do for Christ and the Church. I assure you that I remember you during Mass and Eucharistic adoration, something which I have done since I was young. I want you to know that I have always obtained great fruits, not only for me but also for all those whom Divine Mercy has entrusted to me."