The Pope concludes his thought with an exhortation to the youth not to forget "this prospect in your project of life: we are called to eternity. God has created us to be with Him forever.
"He will help you to give a full sense to your choices and give quality to your existence."
6. The commandments, way of true love
As Jesus reminds the young man, the commandments are "essential points of reference for living in love, for distinguishing clearly the good from the bad and building a solid and lasting project of life," the Pope writes. "Also to you, Jesus asks if you know the Commandments, if you work to form your consciences according to the divine law and if you put them in practice."
"This goes against today's mentality that proposes a freedom unrelated to values, rules, objective norms and invites denial of every limit to the desires of the moment," points out Pope Benedict. "But this type of proposal," he observes, "instead of leading to true freedom, makes man a slave to himself, to his immediate desires, to idols as power, money, unbridled pleasure and the seductions of the world, making him incapable of following his native vocation to love."
The commandments were given to us because God "wants to educate us in true liberty, because he wants to build with us a Kingdom of love, of justice and of peace."
"Listening to them and putting them in practice doesn't mean alienating onesself, but finding a path of freedom and of true love, because the commandments don't limit happiness, but indicate how to find it. Jesus at the beginning of the dialogue with the young rich man, reminds him that the law given by God is good, because 'God is good,'" writes the Pope.
7. We need you
Young people today might find themselves in a difficult situation marked by a lack of employment opportunities, ideal references or concrete prospects for the future, the Pope observes. Despite the difficulty or feelings of impotence, "do not let yourselves be discouraged and do not give up your dreams!"
"Instead, cultivate in your hearts great desires for fraternity, justice and peace.
"The future is in the hands of those who know how to seek and find strong reasons for life and hope. If you want it, the future is in your hands, because the gifts and the riches that the Lord has closed in the heart of each of you, molded by the encounter with Christ, can bring back true hope to the world!" says the Pope.
It is the faith in his love that, making you strong and generous, will give you the courage to confront with serenity the path of life and assume family and professional responsibilities. Work to build your future through serious routes of personal formation and study, to serve the common good in a competent and generous way.
The Holy Father includes the challenges that young people are called to respond to today to build a more just and fraternal world: "the use of the resources of the earth and respect for ecology, the just division of goods and the control of financial mechanisms, solidarity with the poor countries within the human family, the fight against hunger in the world, the promotion of the dignity of human work, service to the culture of life, the construction of peace between nations, interreligious dialogue, the good use of means of social communication."
"These are challenges that ask for a demanding and exciting project of life, in which to put all of your riches according to the design that God has for each of you," the Pope explains.
This "isn't about carrying out heroic or extraordinary gestures, but of acting by putting in fruit our own talents and possibilities, committing oneself to progress constantly in faith and love."
Pope Benedict XVI concludes the letter by inviting everyone to learn about the lives of the saints, particularly those who are priests in this special year that honors them.
Through their lives, we can see God's guidance and their experience of finding their way "day after day, in faith, hope and love.
"Christ calls each of you to work with Him and to assume your responsibilities to build a civilization of love. If you follow his Word, your way will also be illuminated and it will lead you to high goals, that give joy and full meaning to life."
The message concludes with the prayer, "May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, accompany you with her protection" and the Pope's assurance of his prayers and blessing "with great affection."
This year's World Youth Day will be celebrated on a diocesan level on Palm Sunday, March 28.