While meeting with a group of Spanish young people of the “Mission Youth” initiative led by Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that the message of Jesus Christ and the Church needs to be shared with young people without fear.
Speaking in Spanish, the Pope thanked the young people present for their testimony and congratulated them for their enthusiasm in going out into the open and making the surprising discovery that, contrary to what many think, the Gospel profoundly attracts young people.” Mission Youth has enabled them to “discover the ecclesial meaning of Christian life in all of its fullness,” he continued, “the fineness and beauty of love and of the family lived according to God’s plan.”
The Holy Father told them that in visiting the holy places of Rome, “you have been able to better understand why faith in Jesus Christ, in opening the horizons of a new life of authentic freedom and hope without limits, needs the mission, the push that is born of a heart generously given over to God and of the courageous witness of He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life,” especially when “you see around you many who have forgotten or ignore Him, blinded by so many passing dreams that many promote but that leave the heart empty.”
The Pope encouraged the young missionaries to “persevere in the journey you have begun.” “Do not cease to cultivate your own personal encounter with Christ, to have him always at the center of your hearts, thus your entire lives will become a mission; Christ who lives in you will be transparent.”
“As young people,” he went on, “you are deciding about your future. Do so with the light of Christ. Ask Him, What do you want of me? And follow the road he shows you with generosity and trust, knowing that, in baptism, all are called to holiness without distinction and to be living members of the Church in whatever state of live we are in.”
The Pope concluded with a prayer to Mary to accompany the young people and bring them happiness in their commitment that they have made for the glory of God and the good of others.