Pope Francis’ message for WYD 2016: “have the courage to be happy”

The Vatican (Wednesday, 02-18-2015, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis has told young people to “have the courage to be happy” in his Message for the 30th World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in dioceses around the world on Palm Sunday.

It is the last diocesan World Youth Day before next year’s International World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, in July.

In his Message, Pope Francis continues his use of the Beatitudes a guide to the journey to Krakow, this year focusing on “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5: 8).

Pope Francis writes the search for happiness is shared by people of all times and all ages.

“God has placed in the heart of every man and woman an irrepressible desire for happiness, for fulfilment,” he says.

“Dear young men and women, in Christ you find fulfilled your every desire for goodness and happiness,” continues the Holy Father. “He alone can satisfy your deepest longings, which are so often clouded by deceptive worldly promises.”

The Pope calls on young people to not let the “precious treasure” of the ability to love and beloved to be debased, destroyed or spoiled.

“In encouraging you to rediscover the beauty of the human vocation to love, I also urge you to rebel against the widespread tendency to reduce love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect alone, deprived of its essential characteristics of beauty, communion, fidelity and responsibility,” writes Pope Francis.

“Dear young friends, in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment,” he continues. “They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘for ever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love.”

The Pope also invites young people to encounter Christ in the Scriptures, by reading a line or two of the Gospels each day.

“You will discover that God can be ‘seen’ also in the face of your brothers and sisters, especially those who are most forgotten: the poor, the hungry, those who thirst, strangers, the sick, those imprisoned (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Have you ever had this experience?” writes the Pope.

“Dear young people, in order to enter into the logic of the Kingdom of Heaven, we must recognize that we are poor with the poor,” Pope Francis continues. “A pure heart is necessarily one which has been stripped bare, a heart that knows how to bend down and share its life with those most in need.”

With information from Vatican Radio

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