S. John Paul II Homil. 629
10th WORLD YOUTH DAY
Friday, 13 January 1995
"Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mc 10,17).
Dear Friends in Christ,
1. A young man once asked Jesus this question. In reply, Jesus re minded him of Godís commandments. And when the young man indicated that he had kept all the commandments from his earliest days, Jesus looked at him with love and said: "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Mc 10,21).
"Come, follow me!".The call which the Lord addressed that day to the young man in the Gospel reechoes in our time. The Church repeats this call when the Pope, the Bishops, and those involved in the pastoral care of young people invite them to gather together. There are many such occasions for young people to meet: in their parishes and Dioceses, and for the past ten years at the World Youth Days; in Rome, then in Buenos Aires in Argentina, later in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, later in Jasna Gůra, Czestochowa in Poland, and in Denver in the United States. Today we are here in Manila, in the Philippines, in Far East, in Asia. Even though there are delegations here from most of the worldís countries, we have to say that this is, in a special way, the World Youth Day of the Churches of Asia and the Far East.
630 2. The Fifth International Youth Forum, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, under the presidency of Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, has brought together the delegates of the Bishopsí Conferences, and of international Movements, Associations and Ecclesial Groups, to share their experiences in the apostolate in different parts of the world, and to reflect on the theme of the World Youth Day.
The theme this year is expressed in the words of Christ to the Apostles after the Resurrection: "As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20,21). Two thousand years ago these words set in motion the Churchís never-ending mission to proclaim the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth. The Lord Jesus said to the Apostles: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20,22), and the mission Ė in obedience to these words Ė began on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and those simple men became the holders of the divine power which enabled them to announce the Gospel with courage, even to the shedding of their blood.
3. What do these words mean today? What do they mean for you, young people of the International Youth Forum?
When Jesus says: "As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you", his words have the same meaning now as they did immediately after the Resurrection. At the same time they always have a new meaning. The task of the World Youth Day, and especially the task of the Forum, is to disclose this meaning, which is both eternal and contemporary. In a way, your task is to invite the Holy Spirit to this Filipino cenacle, where Jesusí words can become once again a mission, a sending of apostles.
4. It is always Christ who sends. But whom does he send? You, young people, are the ones he looks upon with love. Christ, who says: "Follow me", wants you to live your lives with a sense of vocation. He wants your lives to have a precise meaning, a dignity. Most of you are called to marriage and family life; but some will receive a call to the priesthood or religious life.
In fact there is a representative group of Seminarians, Novices and young Religious present at this Mass. I greet each one of you and encourage you to be steadfast in answering the call to a total self-giving love of the Lord. He will make many demands on you. He will require the fullest commitment of your whole being to the spreading of the Gospel and to the service of his people. But do not be afraid! His demands are also the measure of his love for each of you personally.
5. What is it that Christ wants young people to do? The Second Vatican Council has made us more aware that there are many ways of building up the Church. Every form of the apostolate is valid and fruitful if it exists in the Church, by the Church and for the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, spoken of in the teaching of Saint Paul.
The World Youth Day can be for all of you an occasion for discovering your calling, for discerning the particular path which Christ sets before you. The search and discovery of Godís will for you is a deep and fascinating endeavor. It requires of you the attitude of trust expressed in the words of the Psalm used in todayís liturgy: "You will show me the path to life, fullness of joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever" (Ps 15,11). Every vocation, every path to which Christ calls us, ultimately leads to fulfilment and happiness, because it leads to God, to sharing in Godís own life.
And I see that the people of the Philippines are very joyous. Why are they so joyous? I am convinced that you Filipino peoples are so joyous because you received the Good News. Who is receiving the Good News is joyous, is radiant with joy, and also is giving the joy to others. Today they are giving that joy to the Pope. They are giving the same joy to the Cardinals, to the Bishops, to priests, to all of you! And I myself, and all of us are so grateful to the Filipino peoples for their joyous hospitality.
6. Returning to the text, do not be slow to answer the Lordís call! From the passage of the Book of Exodus read to us in this Mass we can learn how the Lord acts in every vocation(cf. Ex Ex 3,1-6 Ex 9-12). First, he provokes a new awareness of his presence Ė the burning bush. When we begin to show an interest he calls us by name. When our answer becomes more specific and like Moses we say: "Here I am" (cf. Ex Ex 3,4), then he reveals more clearly both himself and his compassionate love for his people in need. Gradually he leads us to discover the practical way in which we should serve him: "I will send you". And usually it is then that fears and doubts come to disturb us and make it more difficult to decide. It is then that we need to hear the Lordís assurance: "I am with you". Every vocation is a deep personal experience of the truth of these words: "I am with you" (Ex 3,12). I give to the words my personal convictions. It was so important for me to hear them. "I am with you. Be not afraid!".
So we see that every vocation to the apostolate springs from familiarity with Godís word and involves being sent to communicate that word to others. These "others" can be people who already know the language of the revealed word. But they can also be people who do not yet know that language, as happens in the case of the missionary vocation. The word of God is unknown to some because they have not yet heard it. Others have forgotten it, or have abandoned what they once heard. No matter what the difficulties, the apostle knows that he is not alone: "I am always with you". I pray every day that the Catholic young people of the world will hear the call of Christ and that their response will be what the Responsorial Psalm says: The Lord is "my allotted portion... I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed" (Ps 15,8).
631 7. Enormous tasks lie before the youth of the world; especially before the Catholic youth of the Philippines, of Asia and the Far East, on the eve of the Third Millennium. The largest mission land of the world is in need of workers, and the Church constantly prays the Lord of the harvest to send them, to send us, to send you.
As I go to the altar, I wish, together with the Bishops and priests gathered here, to offer up under the forms of bread and wine all that you, young men and women, carry in your hearts. The bread and wine will become, in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ. When you receive him in Holy Communion, may you have the courage to listen to his call. Let me express this call in the words of a song (but no singing) which I learned from young people when I was still in my own country. Their song goes: "Come with me to save the world; for already it is the twentieth century!". Indeed, the twentieth century is now coming to an end. So Christ says: "Come with me into the Third Millennium, to save the world!".
I am very anxious to meet you personally after the celebration, and to be near to everyone of you, from so different languages and countries and nations of the whole world. I am anxious to see you, to come and meet you leaning on this walking-stick.
"As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you..." Amen.
10th WORLD YOUTH DAY
HOLY MASS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 4th CENTENARY
Saturday 15 January 1995
"Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28,18-19).
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
1. These words from todayís Gospel take on a special meaning in the context of the Jubilee which, together with the World Youth Day, the Church in the Philippines is celebrating. Four hundred years ago, in 1595, the first Ecclesiastical Province was set up on these Islands: the Archdiocese of Manila and the Dioceses of Cebu, Caceres and Nueva Segovia.
632 I greet the whole Filipino people, wonderful Filipino people. I greet all their Pastors. I thank Cardinal Sin for these kind words of welcome. I greet also His Excellency President Ramos and the Authorities.
The establishment of a Metropolitan Church in the Philippines bore witness to the fact that the work of the first missionaries had borne abundant fruit. The process of planting and building up the Church had already taken place in other parts of the world, especially in the European countries. In the case of my own Poland, it had taken place in the year 1000. Later, the same thing happened in the countries of South America, Central America and North America. So it happened and continues to happen in Africa, in Australia and throughout Oceania, and on the continent of Asia. All this has a meaning that is not just a question of ecclesiastical administration. The Church is a living body. Like a living body, at a certain point she reaches a stage of maturity which makes it possible for a particular Church to give life to other Churches like itself.
Plantatio Ecclesiae. Mysterium plantationis Ecclesiae. Paulus plantavit; Apollo rigavit. Deus autem incrementum dedit. I see that Filipino people are understanding very well Latin.
2. Four hundred years ago the Church in Manila became the Metropolitan See for the Church in Cebu, Caceres and Nueva Segovia. In the space of these four centuries the number of the particular Churches in the Philippines has greatly increased. Those first four Dioceses have each become a Metropolitan See, and alongside them numerous particular Churches have developed and continue to grow. In this part of the world it is the Philippines which enjoys the greatest wealth of ecclesial life. Plantatio fecunda, fecundissima.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have come together here to give thanks to God precisely for this grace, great grace of God. Not just you who have come from all over the Philippines, but also representatives of the Churches throughout Asia and the Far East. As I see also many Cardinals from Europe, and from Africa, from Asia. All together we greet the delegates of the other Christian Churches and Communities, as well as the representatives of other religions. For me it is a great joy to be here with you on this day, as Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter. Peter was the first in "plantatio Ecclesiae" in Rome and from Rome. "Plantatio Ecclesiae" in Manila, in the Philippines, Peter, Successor of Peter, also a grace. Together let us praise God for the grace of this Four Hundredth Anniversary. In one great chorus let us commend the Church in the Philippines and the whole Nation to Godís Providence: "Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance" (Ps 28,9).
In the midst of our joy on this occasion we cannot forget our Filipino brothers and sisters who live in difficult social and economic conditions, and those who are trying to recover from the natural disasters which have occurred with a certain frequency in recent times. I am thinking in particular of the victims of the Pinatubo eruption and its after-effects.I ask God to strengthen and comfort those who have lost their loved ones, their homes, their livelihood, and I earnestly hope that their appeals for further help and solidarity will not go unheard. And I think also there are many Filipinos in Rome, in Italy and through the world. I greet all of them. They are also the same inheritance. They are also celebrating this centenary.
3. Today, we cannot fail to remember the first messengers of the Good News who came to these Islands. Their origins were in Spain, for it was above all the Iberian Peninsula which gave rise to that great missionary thrust which followed the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. At that same time other brave explorers were travelling south and east, round Africa by way of the Cape of Good Hope, through the Indian Ocean, towards Asia and the Far East. Those remarkable voyages opened up for the Church vast new horizons for her evangelizing mission. It was in that context that the evangelization of the Philippines began.
It is significant that the first Episcopal See in Manila was originally attached to Mexico, in spite of the enormous distance involved in crossing the Pacific Ocean. Clearly that was a temporary measure, until the first independent Ecclesiastical Province was erected in the Philippines, precisely in 1595. After hesitation at the beginning, the missionary Church of that early period gradually became more truly Filipina as the number of native-born priests and Bishops increased.
Looking back today on that past, we must express our thankfulness to God for those pioneers who laid the foundations of the Church in this land: for the Augustinians who were the first to arrive, followed by the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Dominicans and the Augustinian Recollects. The early missionaries who sought to defend the native peoples from the abuses of the conquistadores and encomenderos found a vigorous leader in the Dominican Fray Domingo de Salazar, the first Bishop of Manila. As early as 1582 he summoned the first Synod, which decided many questions regarding conquest, settlement and administration in accordance with the principles of the faith and Christian morality.
A wonderful process, a wonderful history, history of the Church, history of salvation, history of Filipino people. All of us, all of you Filipinos today, you are the inheritance, the successors in this great process, great process.
4. Saint Paul writes to the Ephesians: "May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, grant you a spirit of wisdom and insight... that you may know the great hope to which he has called you... and the immeasurable scope of his power in us who believe" (Ep 1,17-19). What Saint Paul wished for the Christian community at Ephesus is what I wish today for the Catholic people of the Philippines. I pray above all that you will appreciate ever more fully the grace of your Christian vocation as explained by the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Church (Cfr. Lumen Gentium LG 40).
633 This vocation has its beginning and source in Christ himself. All Christians live by the inexhaustible riches given to us in him. Saint John of the Cross, the great Spanish mystic who lived just at the time when the evangelization of the Philippines was getting underway, reminds us of this fact. He wrote in the Spiritual Canticle: "(Christ) is like a rich mine with many recesses containing treasures, and no matter how men try to fathom them the end is never reached" (Saint John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle, st. 36). Christ is so rich!
In the work of the missionaries and in their service to the people, the power of Christ, Crucified and Risen, was being manifested Ė the power of Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father and who, as Redeemer and Bridegroom of the Church, works through her in the Holy Spirit. It is very important not to confuse the Church with some merely human or humanitarian organization. The Church lives and grows in Christ and through Christ. All her members, in their thoughts and actions, are called to bear witness to the living presence of the Redeemer.
5. The Father, as we read in the Letter to the Ephesians, "has put all things under Christís feet and has made him thus exalted, head of the Church, which is his body" (Ep 1,22-23). That is why, after his Resurrection, Christ sent out the Apostles with the words: "Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth" (Mt 28,18). This saving power of the Redeemer is what sustained the missionaries who came to the Philippines in the sixteenth century. This same power is what has preserved the sons and daughters of your nation in living their lives as Christians, in forming Christian families, in educating your children in the faith. By doing all of this, your forefathers laid the foundations of the only predominantly Catholic country in this part of the world, a region which still presents an enormous challenge for evangelization. In time, children of this land, as priests and Bishops, took over full pastoral responsibility, while others filled the ranks of the congregations of men and women religious, so that the Church which is "the fullness of him who fills the universe in all its parts"(Ep 1,23) would be truly catholic and universal, but also truly immersed in the life and culture of these Islands.
6. Today therefore is a day of great joy: rejoice in great gratitude to the Lord. The Responsorial Psalm contains an appropriate invitation: "All you people, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness... For the king of all the earth is God... God reigns over all the nations" (). The faith which springs from the Gospel transforms the life both of individuals and of nations. For four hundred years the Church has served as a leaven and as a kind of soul for Philippine society, most of all by her healing and elevating impact on respect for the human person, and by the way in which she strengthens families and communities, and imbues everyday activity with a deeper meaning and reference to God (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes GS 40). Inspired by their faith, Filipino Catholics have begun countless initiatives for the good of society, in the fields of education, healthcare and service of all kinds. Out of the Churchís religious mission during these four hundred years there came a light and an energy which have served to structure and consolidate the human community according to the divine law (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes GS 42). This is the source of our joy. This is the source for our joy and our gratitude to the Lord, the Almighty Father. This is the reason for the Philippine Churchís joy, visible in this celebration, with all the color and vitality of your culture and Christian traditions. But this is also your task and responsibility: to remain faithful to what has been handed down and to build on it, so that Godís law will abide in your hearts and his blessings will increasingly be poured out on your nation.
A great boost to our joy is given by the young people of the World Youth Day who have come to Manila from every corner of the Philippines, from many parts of Asia and the Far East, and from the other continents. They are the sign and the confirmation of your living faith. My heart is going to all of them, to all the Filipino young men and women, and to all young men and women of the whole world, of so many countries of the world... European, Asiatic, Africa, America, North America, Latin America, Central America, Australia, all the continents.
7. The joy of the human heart springs from the presence of God in us, in our hearts. Isaiah writes: "All who... hold to my covenant I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer". The spiritual joy of Godís people in the Philippines has two fundamental points of reference: the house of prayer and the holy mountain. First, the community gathers in "the house of prayer"(Is 56,6-7) Ė which is the home, or a chapel, a parish church or a cathedral Ė to celebrate the mysteries of our redemption and to profess the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith. From there Godís pilgrim people go forth to ascend "the holy mountain": marching forward in hope towards the fullness of Godís kingdom, all the time striving to make present and operative at every level of your personal and national life that kingdom of holiness, justice, peace and solidarity. So two points: the house of prayer and the holy mountain, being together and ascending with Christ into heaven, into his kingdom. All that is inspired by the liturgical texts as of todayís liturgy.
8. Filipino People of God: at every Mass you hear the call to lift up your hearts: Sursum corda!
Lift up your heart, holy Church, which in four centuries has built a solid dwelling place for God in these Islands! So numerous islands, Filipino islands, wonderful islands!
Whole generations have gone up from here to the Holy Mountain, where the God of glory dwells. The sign of this ascent are your Filipino Saints, beginning with Saint Lorenzo Ruiz whom I had the joy to beatify here in Manila and to canonize in Rome. They remain closely united with you in the Communion of the Saints. They show you the way to God, which is the fulfilment of the vocation of each and every human being.
Rejoice, Filipino people, holy Church of Manila, Cebu, Caceres, Nueva Segovia! Rejoice, every Filipino family, every Filipino Diocese and parish! Rejoice, for it has pleased the Father to give you the kingdom! This promise of the Father is fulfilled unceasingly through the power of Christ: to him be honor and glory for ever! Amen.
A long homily, but not too long for this occasion!
634 Mabuhay, to all Filipino people! Long live!
Very, very, very grateful for this celebration, for this great festivity of the Church in the Philippines.
Very grateful to almighty God!
Very grateful to all of you!
Viva Manila, Cebu, Caceres, Nueva Segovia!
Thank you very much!
10th WORLD YOUTH DAY
Sunday 15 January 1995
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
635 1. We are celebrating the Mass of the Santo NiŮo of Cebu, the Child Jesus whose birth at Bethlehem the Church has just commemorated at Christmas. Bethlehem signifies the beginning on earth of the mission which the Son received from the Father, the mission which is at the heart of our reflections during this Tenth World Youth Day. In todayís liturgy we find a magnificent commentary on the theme of the World Youth Day: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you".
Isaiah says: "For there is a child born for us, a son given to us: and dominion is laid on his shoulders" (Is 9,5). That Child came from the Father as the Prince of Peace, and his coming brought light into the world (cf. Jn. Jn 1,5). The Prophet goes on: "The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light: on those who live in a land of deep shadow, a light has shone. You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase" (Is 9,1-2). The happy event which the Prophet foretold took place at Bethlehem, the Christmas event which Christians everywhere celebrate with great joy: in Rome, in the Philippines and in all the countries of Asia and throughout the rest of the world.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Church in the Philippines, dear young people of the Tenth World Youth Day all gathered here from different peoples, and languages, and cultures, and continents, and local Churches: What is the deepest joy of our common joy? The deepest source of our joy is the fact that the Father sent the Son to save the world. The Son takes upon himself the weight of the sins of humanity, and in this way redeems us and guides us on the path that leads to union with the Most Blessed Trinity with God. This is the deepest source of our joy, of the joy of all of us, and also the joy of myself. It is my joy and it is your joy.
2. When we repeat in the Responsorial Psalm: "Here I am Lord, send me", we hear a distant echo of what the Eternal Son said to the Father on coming into the world: "I have come to do your will, O God" (He 10,7). Here I am, Father, send me. He has come to do the will of the Father. The Father so loved the world that he gave his only Son for manís salvation (cf. Jn. Jn 3,16). In turn, the Son so loved the Father that he made his own the Fatherís love for sinful and needy humanity. In this eternal dialogue between the Father and the Son, the Son declared his readiness to come into the world to achieve through his Passion and Death the redemption of mankind.
Todayís Gospel is a commentary on how Jesus lived that Messianic mission. It shows us that when Jesus was twelve years old so you are older a little, perhaps he was already aware of his destiny. Tired after the long search for her Son, Mary said to him: "My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been looking for you". And he replied: "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be busy with my Fatherís affairs? (Lc 2,48-49) This awareness deepened and grew in Jesus with the years, until it burst forth in all its strength when he began his public preaching. The Fatherís power at work in him was then gradually revealed in his words and works. It was revealed in a definitive way when he gave himself completely to the Father on the Cross. In Gethsemane, the night before his Passion, Jesus renewed his obedience: "Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done" (Ibid. 22: 42). He remained faithful to what he had said at twelve years of age: "I must be busy with my Fatherís affairs. I must do his will". You have more than 12 years and you could understand that better. And you are understanding that better, for you are singing.
3. "Here I am Lord, send me". Here I am, here, in the Philippines, and everywhere! With our gaze fixed on Christ we repeat this verse of the Responsorial Psalm as the answer of the Tenth World Youth Day to what the Lord said to the Apostles but now says to everyone: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20,21) to the Apostles and to you the same because these words of Christ have become not just the theme but also the guiding force of this magnificent gathering here in Manila. After last eveningís meditation and Vigil, this Eucharistic Sacrifice "consecrates" our response to the Lord: in eucharistic union with him, all together we reply: "Send me!".
What does this mean? It means that we are ready to do our part in the Lordís mission. Every Christian shares in the mission of Christ in a unique and personal way. Bishops, priests and deacons share in Christís mission through the ordained ministry. Men and women Religious share in it through the spousal love manifested in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. The Christian laity share in Christís mission: the fathers and mothers of families, old people, young people and children; simple people and those who are highly educated; people who till the soil, factory workers, engineers, technicians, doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel. Christís mission is shared by teachers, by men and women in the legal professions, and those who serve in public life. Writers, people who work in the theater and cinema and the media, artists, musicians, sculptors and painters Ė all have a part in this mission, part in the messianic mission of Jesus Christ. In this mission there is a role for university professors, scientists, specialists in every field, and people in the world of culture. In Christís mission a part belongs to you, the citizens of the Philippines and people of the Far East: Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians; Christians from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific; Christians from the Middle East, Europe and Africa, the Americas. Every baptized person has a part in Christís mission, in the Church and through the Church. And this participation in Christís mission constitutes the Church. That is the Church: a living participation in Christís mission! Do you all understand that?
4. On the four-hundredth anniversary of its ecclesiastical independence and the setting up of its own hierarchical structure, the Church in the Philippines is called to a profound renewal. The direction of this renewal has already been indicated in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines held in 1991. That Synod committed the Filipino Catholic community to look more fully to Christ and to find in him its pattern and its inspiration. The Synod exhorted the laity to play a fuller role in the Churchís elevating and liberating service to the human family. The Final Document says: "All the lay faithful are called to heal and transform society, to prepare the temporal order for the final establishment of the Kingdom of God" (Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Council Document, 435).
That is for you, for the young people of the Philippines, young Filipinos. And that is also for all of us, if a part is doing something of the Church, the whole Church participates. It is also for us, for me, the Bishop of Rome, for European Bishops, for African Bishops, American Bishops and for the great pilgrimage of youth from other countries and other continents. That is for us! It is not a private affair of the Filipino Church. It is our common affair. We are all involved in what a part of the Church, a local Church, is doing, is undertaking. Res nostra agitur. Do you understand Latin?
5. Within this commitment of the whole People of God, what is the role of young people in continuing the Messianic mission of Christ? What is your part, your role? We have already meditated on this during the World Youth Day and especially last night at the Vigil. Somebody could say, "They danced, they sang, but they meditated!". It was a creative meditation of the sending they received from Christ. Meditation can also be done through dancing and through singing, through entertainment. And it was a very entertaining meditation yesterday. Finally after this meditation, I was able to sleep. And now after sleep I will add one specific challenge and appeal, which involves the healing of a source of immense frustration and suffering in many families all over the world. Parents and older people sometimes feel that they have lost contact with you, and they are upset, just as Mary and Joseph felt anguish when they realized that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem. Many elderly parents feel abandoned because of us. Is it true, or no? It should not be true! It should be otherwise! But sometimes it is true. Sometimes you are very critical of the world of adults (and I was also like you) and sometimes they are very critical of you (that is also true). Sometimes you are very critical of the world of adults, and sometimes they are very critical of you. This is not something new, and it is not always without a real basis in life. But always remember that you owe your life and upbringing to your parents, remember that: what your debt is to your parents and the Fourth Commandment expresses in a concise way the demands of justice towards them (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church CEC 2215). In most cases they have provided for your education at the cost of personal sacrifice. Thanks to them you have been introduced into the cultural and social heritage of your community and country, your homeland. Generally speaking, your parents have been your first teachers in the faith. Parents therefore have a right to expect from their sons and daughters the mature fruits of their efforts, just as children and young people have the right to expect from their parents the love and care which leads to a healthy development. All that is the Fourth Commandment. The Fourth Commandment is very rich. I suggest that you meditate about the Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue of God. I am asking you to build bridges of dialogue and communication with your parents. No splendid isolation! Communication! Love! Be a healthy influence on society to help to break down the barriers which have been raised between generations! No barriers! No barriers! Communion between generations, between parents and sons and daughters. Communion!
In this atmosphere, Jesus can say I send you! It begins in the family home where Jesus says first, "I send you". And to the parents he says, "I send your son. I send your daughter. I say to them, ĎFollow me!í". All that requires the right atmosphere, complete image of the social life in the Philippines and everywhere. And it is also this spiritual environment in which our sending is realized. "As the Father sent me", says Christ, "I am sending you".
636 How many young people think they are free because they have thrown off every restraint and every principle of responsibility? How many of them think that because certain forms of behavior are socially accepted they are therefore morally right? They abuse the beautiful gift of sexuality; they abuse drink and drugs, thinking that such behavior is all right because certain sectors of society tolerate it. Objective moral norms are abandoned under peer pressure and under the pervasive influence of trends and fashions publicized by the media. Millions of young people the world over are falling into subtle but real forms of moral slavery. And you understand what Jesus means when he says, "I send you to confront this situation, among your brothers and sisters, other young people".
6. Beloved ones, sisters and brothers: build your lives on the one model that will not deceive you! I invite you to open the Gospel and discover that Jesus Christ wants to be your "friend" (cf. Jn. Jn 15,14). He wants to be your "companion" at every stage on the road of life (cf. Lk. Lc 24,13-35). He wants to be the "way", your path through the anxieties, doubts, hopes and dreams of happiness (cf. Jn. Jn 14,6). He is the "truth" that gives meaning to your efforts and your struggles. He wants to give you "life", as he gave new life to the young man of Nain (cf. Lk. Lc 7,11-17), and gave a whole new future to Zacchaeus who was dead in spirit through ambition and greed (Cf. ibid. 19: 1-10). He is your "resurrection", your victory over sin and death, the fulfilment of your desire to live forever (cf. Jn. Jn 11,25). Because of this he will be your "joy", the "rock" on which your weakness will be turned into strength and optimism. He is our salvation, our hope and happiness and peace.
Christ! Christ! Christ! I speak without abbreviation. Worse! I am adding something.
When Christ becomes all of this for you, the world and the Church will have solid reasons for hope for the future. For on you will depend the Third Millennium, which sometimes appears as a marvellous new epoch for humanity but which also raises not a few fears and anxieties. I say this as one who has lived through a large portion of the twentieth century which is now coming to an end. In this century many sad and destructive things have happened, but at the same time we have experienced so many good things which sustain our hope and optimism. The future depends on your maturity! The Church looks to the future with confidence when she hears from your lips the same answer that Jesus gave Mary and Joseph when they found him in the Temple: "Did you not know that I must be busy with my Fatherís affairs?" (Lc 2,49). He answered your answer, the same! He was younger, youíre older.
7. Dear young people: the Tenth World Youth Day is coming to a close. It is time to commit yourselves more fully to following Christ in the fulfilment of his saving mission. Every form of the apostolate and every kind of service must have its source in Christ. When he says: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20,21), he also makes you capable of this mission. In a sense he shares himself with you. This is precisely what Saint Paul writes about: God chose us in Christ before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted sons and daughters (cf. Eph. Ep 1,4-5). It is precisely through the grace of being the adopted children of God that we are capable of taking up the mission entrusted to us by Christ. We must leave Luneta Park with a more confident awareness of this extraordinary fact!
I see if you applaud, it is still reason to be applauded. That is a good sign that you are thinking, reflecting. And I admire your reflection. I admire the grace of our Lord dwelling in your reflection, in your applauding also. So the Pope not only speaks. He is having a dialogue. He speaks and he hears, he listens and you are speaking. And what you speak is perhaps more important. But you speak by applauding!
We have today a great delay. But this day should not finish. It should continue for ever and ever. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (He 13,8). If you take up his cause, and the mission which he gives you, then the whole human family, and the Church in every part of the world, can look to the Third Millennium with hope and trust. Dear young people of the Philippines, of Asia, of the Far East and of the entire world: be a sign of hope for the Church, for your countries and for all humanity! Be a sign of hope! Like the "great light"... May your light spread out from Manila to the farthest corners of the world. Like the "great light" which shone in the night at Bethlehem. Be sons and daughters of the Light!
Yesterday I said, "At the beginning, more and more shining points". And today all are shining! Very nice, very nice people, young people!
Before, Spanish was also spoken in the Philippines. Tomorrow, America. But of mostly Filipino language, not American. A common language, a Christian language.
8. Dear People of God in the Philippines, go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth Ė your own world first, your families, your communities and the nation to which you belong and which you love; and the wider world of Asia, towards which the Church in the Philippines has a special responsibility before the Lord; you Filipino young people have a special responsibility before the Lord for Asia. And all of you, not only the Filipino people (Mubuhay!), have the same responsibility before the Lord and the world beyond, working through faith for the renewal of Godís whole creation. That is your responsibility, your calling, everywhere, in Europe, in Africa, in both Americas, in Australia, everywhere! (Cf. Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Acts and Decrees, n. 7)
May God who began this work in you Ė four hundred years ago for others, many centuries ago, some more, some less Ė bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ! (cf. Phil. Ph 1,6) That is my conclusion and my cordial wish for all of you Ė conclusion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ! Amen!
S. John Paul II Homil. 629