.- The Holy See Press Office released today Pope John Paul II’s message to youth for World Youth Day 2005, which will be held in Cologne, Germany, next August.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity said the message was published one year in advance in order to be used in the pastoral preparation in the dioceses of the world.
The Holy Father’s message develops the theme chosen for WYD in Cologne "We have come to worship him" (Mt 2:2), pointing out that it "enables young people from every continent to follow in spirit the path taken by the Magi whose relics, according to a pious tradition, are venerated in this very city, and to meet, as they did, the Messiah of all nations".
The Holy Father brings to light the interior attitude of adoration that the Magi exhibited which teaches us that by "faithfully pursuing the path of our Redeemer from the poverty of the Crib to His abandonment on the Cross, we can better understand the mystery of His love which redeems humanity".
He points to the contiunuation of this mystery of love each day in the sacrament of the Eucharist where we “acknowledge Him as our Creator, our only Lord and Saviour.”
Pope John Paul II then urges young people to reject idolatry in all its forms in their lives, pointing particularly to “the seduction of wealth, consumerism and the subtle violence sometimes used by the mass media.”
“ Worshipping the true God is an authentic act of resistance to all forms of idolatry,” affirms the Pope, and he goes on to emphasize that we are all called to holiness and to be witnesses to the Risen Lord.
He invites young people to respond generously to God’s call and not to be afraid of making "courageous choices, to take what are sometimes heroic decisions", for it is God who "calls some to give up everything to follow Him in the priestly or consecrated life".
As they go deeper into the theme of adoration during this year of preparation for WYD in Cologne, the young people can have a more intensive experience of the Year of the Eucharist that Pope John Paul II has proclaimed for the whole Church (October 2004-2005).
Read the Holy Father’s Message to the youth of the world for WYD2005 at: