At the end of today’s general audience at the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican Pope John Paul II exhorted the youth present to make Christ the center of their lives and to participate generously in building His Kingdom.

Recalling that last Sunday the Church celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King the Holy Father turned his attention to a group of 3000 Italian youths and said "May Jesus always be the center of your life! May He be the light and guide of every decision that you take; participate generously with your witness in building up His Kingdom of justice and peace."

The Pope catechized on the Christological hymn in Saint Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, in which  "the glorious figure of Christ, heart of the liturgy and center of the entire life of the Church," is extolled.

He explained that Christ, the “first-born of all of creation,' is, as God, also "superior to all of creation” and therefore, by the “shedding His blood on the Cross, Christ 'reconciles and restores peace' with creation, the heavens and the earth.”

The Pope said that the Christ “brings them back to their original condition, recreating the original harmony, willed by God according to His project of love and life.”

“Creation and redemption are, therefore, connected like stages in the unique event of salvation," said John Paul II.