S. John Paul II Homil. 537




Sunday, 20 August 1989

1. "Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, 'Let us go at once to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts"' (Za 8,20-21).

I cordially greet all those present!

Inhabitants of numerous cities! Representatives of many peoples and nations! You have come here not just from Galicia, from the whole of Spain, from all over Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, but also from North America and Latin America, the Middle East, from Africa, Asia and Oceania.

It is likewise a pleasure for me to greet the young people who have come from so many parish and diocesan communities, and from associations, movements and groups of the Church of God.

I greet the young people present at this Eucharistic Celebration and your contemporaries, wherever they may be.

I have invited you on this pilgrimage on the occasion of the World Youth Day of the Year of Our Lord 1989. I thank you wholeheartedly for your presence here.

2. This place is united to the memory of the Apostle of Jesus Christ. One of the two sons of Zebedee: James, brother of John. Through the Gospel we know his father's name and we also know his mother. We know that she intervened before Jesus on behalf of her sons: "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom" (Mt 20,21).

538 The mother was anxious to assure the future of her sons. She observed all that Jesus did; she had seen the divine power that accompanied his mission. She certainly believed that he was the Messiah announced by the prophets, the Messiah who was going to restore the kingdom of Israel (cfr. Acts Ac 1,6).

We should not be surprised at the attitude of this mother. We should not be surprised at a daughter of Israel who loved her people. And she loved her sons. She wanted for them what she considered a good thing.

3. Look at James, son of Zebedee, a fisherman like his father and brother; the son of a determined mother.

James followed Jesus of Nazareth. When, in reply to their mother's question the Master asked, "Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?", (Mt 20,22), James and his brother John answered without a doubt: "We are able" (Mt 20,22).

This is not a calculated reply, but rather one which is full of confidence.

James did not yet know, and in any case if he knew something, he did not fully know, what this "cup" meant. Christ was speaking of the cup which he himself had to drink, the cup which he had received from the Father.

The moment came when Christ fulfilled what he had earlier announced: he drank the cup which his Father had given him to the last drop.

The truth is that James was not with his Master on Golgotha. Neither were Peter nor the other Apostles. Only John remained with Christ's Mother, he alone.

Nevertheless, later all of them understood - and James understood - the truth about the "cup". He understood that Christ had to drink it to the last drop. He understood that it was necessary for him to undergo all that; that he had to suffer death on a cross...

Christ, in effect, the Son of God, "came not to be served, but to serve and to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt 20,28).

Christ is the servant of human Redemption!

539 Thus: "whoever would be great among you must be your servant" (Mt 20,26).

4. Down through the centuries people from many cities and nations have come on pilgrimage here; to the Apostle to whom Christ said: "you will drink my cup".

Young people have come in pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle to learn that Gospel truth: "whoever would be great among you must be your servant".

In these words we find the essential criterion of human greatness. This criterion is new. It was new in the time of Christ and continues to be so two thousand years later.

This criterion is new. It implies a transformation, a renewal of the criteria by which the world is governed."You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you" (Mt 20,25-26).

The criterion by which the world is governed is the criterion of success. To have power... To have economic power, so as to make the dependence of others be seen. To have cultural power in order to manipulate consciences. To use... ?nd to abuse!

Such is the "spirit of this world".

Does this mean perhaps that power in itself is evil? Does this mean that the economy - economic initiative - is in itself bad?

No! By no means. Both of them can also be a way a serving. This is the spirit of Christ, the truth of the Gospel. This truth and this spirit are expressed in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela through the Apostle, who — according to his mother's wish — would be the first; however — following Christ — he became a servant.

5. Why are you here, you young people of the nineties and of the twentieth century? Do you feel perhaps within yourselves "the spirit of this world", in so far as this era, rich in means of use and abuse, struggles against the spirit of the Gospel?

Have you not perhaps come here to convince yourselves once and for all that to be great means to serve? However... are you prepared to drink of this cup? Are you prepared to let yourselves be permeated by the body and blood of Christ; so as to die to the old man which is in us and rise again with him? Do you feel the Lord's strength which can enable you to bear your sacrifices, sufferings and the "crosses" which weigh upon the young people who are disoriented as regards the meaning of life, manipulated by power, unemployed, hungry, submerged in drugs and violence, slaves of the eroticism which is spreading everywhere...? Know that Christ's yoke is easy... and that only in him will we find the hundredfold here and now, and eternal life later.

540 6. Why are you here, you young people of the nineties and of the twentieth century? Do you feel perchance within yourselves "the spirit of this world"?

Have you not perhaps come here — I ask you again — to convince yourselves once and for all that to be great means to serve? This service is certainly not mere humanitarian sentimentality. Nor is the community of the disciples of Christ a volunteer agency or social help group. Such a concept of service would imply stooping to the level of the "spirit of this world". No! Here we are dealing with something more. The radicality, quality and destiny of this "service" to which we have all been called must be seen in the context of the human Redemption. Because we have been created, we have been called, we have been destined, first and foremost, to serve God, in the image and likeness of Christ who, as Lord of all creation, as centre of the cosmos and of history, showed his royal power through obedience unto death, and was glorified in the Resurrection (cfr. Lumen Gentium
LG 36). The kingdom of God is realized by means of this "service", which is the fullness and measure of all human service. It does not act according to human criterion through power, might and money. Each one of us is asked for a total readiness to follow Christ, who "came not to be served, but to serve".

I invite you, dear friends, to discover your true vocation to cooperate in the spreading of this Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace. If you really wish to serve your brothers and sisters, let Christ reign in your hearts, let him help you to discern and grow in dominion over yourselves, to strengthen you in the virtues, to fill you above all with his charity, to guide you along the path which leads to the "condition of the perfect one". Do not be afraid to be saints! This is the liberty with which Christ has set us free (cfr. Gal Ga 5,1). Not as the powers of this world promise it, with false hope and deceit: total autonomy, a breaking of every dependency as creatures and sons and daughters, an affirmation of self-sufficiency which leaves us defenceless before our limitations and weaknesses, alone in the prison of our egoism, slaves to the "spirit of this world", condemned to the "bondage of decay" (Rm 8,21).

For this reason, I ask the Lord, to help you to grow in this "true freedom", as a basic and illuminating criterion of judgement and choice in life. This same freedom will direct your moral behaviour in truth and in charity. It will help you to discover authentic love, uncorrupted by an alienating and harmful permissiveness. It will make you people who are open to a possible total self-giving in the priesthood or consecrated life. It will make you grow in humanness through study and work. It will inspire your works of solidarity and your acts of service to those in need, whether in body or in soul. It will enable you to become "masters", so as to serve better, and not "slaves", victims and followers of the dominant trends in attitudes and ways of behaviour.

7. To serve: to be a person for others.

This is also a truth which the Apostle Paul teaches very eloquently, in the second Reading of today's liturgy.

"I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned to him" (Rm 12,3).

And the Apostle adds: "Having gifts that differ" (Rm 12,6).

Yes! You need to know well the gifts God has granted you in Christ. It is necessary to know well the gift you have received, in order to give it to others, to contribute to the common good.

Yes. You need to perceive well the gifts God has granted you in Christ. You need to know well the gift you have received in the very experience of family and parish life, in working together with others in associations, and in the charismatic flourishing of movements, so as to be able to give it to others: thus to enrich the communion and missionary thrust of the Church, to be witnesses of Christ in your neighbourhood and school, in the university and factory, in places of work and recreation..., to contribute to the common good, as servants of experiences of growth in humanity, of dignity and solidarity, in which young people may be authentic protagonists of more human ways of life.

8. This is what the Apostle teaches. What he says is not just a mere teaching, but a fervent call.

541 "Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality" (Rm 12,9-13).

Is he not perhaps saying this particularly to you, to young people? Does the fact that you are young not imply a particular sensitivity to this plan of life and action, to this world of values?

Does it not open towards this world? And if, by chance, it feels the resistance which comes from within, or indeed from without, does not your being young dispose you to struggle precisely for just such a "form" of life?

This form has been given to human life by Christ. He knows what is within man (cfr. Jn Jn 2,25).

"Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling" (Gaudium et Spes GS 22).

Dear young people, let yourselves be won by him! Christ alone is the way, the truth and the life as, in the remarkable Gospel synthesis, the theme of our World Youth Day proclaims.

O Mountain of Joy, to which pilgrims have come, you remind us of one of the most beautiful characteristics of Santiago and its roads: universality.

I invite all those who travel it to maintain, as you have always done, the bonds of catholicity.

9. You have come here on pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle who can confirm at first hand, if we can put it like that, the truth of the vocation of man, whose reference point is Christ.

You have come to find your personal vocation.

You draw close to the altar to offer, with the bread and wine, your youth, your search for truth, and everything which is good and beautiful in you.

542 All that creative restlessness.

All the sufferings of your young hearts.

10. Being here among you, I wish to say with the Psalmist: Behold "the earth has yielded its harvest" (
Ps 67 [66]: 6), its most precious fruit: the person, human youth.

May the Face of God reflected in the human face of Christ. Redeemer of man, shine before you.

"Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee" (Ps 67 [66]: 5).

May your contemporaries, contemplating your pilgrimage, be able to exclaim: "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you" (Za 8,23).

This is the wish of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, who has participated with you in this pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.


Church of Sts Andrew and Gregory on the Caelian Hill

Saturday, 30 September 1989

1. “Grace to you and peace from God, our Father”.

543 We hear this greeting as we listen to the words of Saint Paul to the community of Colossae, in the reading appointed for the eve of the 26th Sunday of the year.

These same words I address to you this evening. I greet, first of all, my brother in Christ, the Archbishop of Canterbury: I warmly welcome you, together with the other representatives of the Anglican Communion who accompany you. I welcome you to Rome, the city that was stained with the blood of the Apostles Peter and Paul; I welcome you to this Church of Saint Gregory the Great from which, fourteen hundred years ago, my predecessor Pope Saint Gregory the Great sent Saint Augustine to preach the “word of truth” to the people of England. Augustine was prior of the monastery of Saint Andrew on the Caelian Hill which stood on the very spot where we are gathered this evening, and we have entered into the sequence of prayer and praise that has been offered to God in this place down through the centuries. I salute the representatives of the same living monastic tradition whom we join in prayer today. Moreover I recall the important role that monastic life has always played – not least in England – in receiving, living and handing on that “word of truth”.

In sending Saint Augustine to preach to the Anglo-Saxon people, Saint Gregory was exercising the pastoral and missionary responsibility which is proper to the office of the Bishop of Rome. In his own writings we discover a profound and rich appreciation of the universal primacy entrusted to the Bishop who occupies the See of Peter. He it was who called the Bishop of Rome the “caput fidei” and who described the one who holds this office as the “servus servorum Dei”.

2. It was as Bishop of Rome that seven years ago I myself went to England to visit the Catholic people there. My journey took me also to Canterbury, to the Cathedral Church of Saint Augustine. In making my pilgrimage to the shrine of the martyr, Saint Thomas Becket, I sought to play a part in healing the terrible wounds inflicted on the Body of Christ in the sixteenth century. We prayed together there, Your Grace and I, for that wholeness, that fullness of life in Christ which is God’s gift of unity.

My pilgrimage to Canterbury was motivated by obedience to the will of Christ our Lord who, on the night before he died prayed “that they all may be one”. Today the divisions among Christians require that the primacy of the Bishop of Rome should also be a primacy in action and initiative in favour of that unity for which Christ so earnestly prayed. I see our celebration of Evening Prayer together as a further moment in that ecumenical pilgrimage that Catholics and Anglicans, together with other Christians, are called to make. Our goal is to discover once more that common inheritance of faith which was shared before the tragic sequence of events which divided Christian Europe four centuries ago. We must find our common roots in that period of a thousand years when Christians in England were united in the faith that had been planted there by Saint Augustine.

In the Common Declaration we signed together at Canterbury, we established the Second Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC-II) to study doctrinal differences that still separate us. But as we meet today, we cannot but acknowledge that events in recent years have seriously aggravated the differences between us, making the work of the Commission more difficult. I wish today to confirm the members of the Commission in their arduous task as they study the roots and origins of the differences between us. May they be endowed with hope and courage as they seek to meet the challenge.

3. The integrity of the apostolic faith as delivered once and for all to the saints in the apostolic Tradition, must be fully preserved if our unity is to be that for which Christ prayed.

Responsibility for discerning the teaching and practice that are part of what Saint Paul calls the deposit which has been entrusted to us and which we must guard lies with the teaching authority of the Church. In the words of the Second Vatican Council, “the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God whether in its written form, or in the form of Tradition has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone”. The specific role of bishops which is to be exercised in communion with the See of Peter in ensuring the unity and continuity of the faith is vital if we are to hand on the faith of Peter, Gregory and Augustine, if we are to evangelize once more the peoples of Europe and to preach the Gospel to the peoples of the world.

Saint Gregory was a man of vast experience. As the representative of the Church of Rome to the Church of Constantinople, he knew well that there could be variety in confessing and living out the faith, in its liturgical expression, as well as in spirituality, theology and Church discipline, while preserving in all things the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. That was certainly also his hope and vision for the Church in England. Today the continent of Gregory and Augustine urgently needs to hear the “word of truth” afresh.

The tide of superstition rises high, as it did among the Colossians in the time of Saint Paul. We are surrounded by the forces of secularization that bring with them ignorance of the word of God. The people of our continent cry out for the “Good News” and woe to us if we do not preach it.

4. “Grace to you and peace from God, our Father”.

544 When Saint Paul wrote these words to the Colossians, and when he thanked God for their “faith in Christ Jesus” and “love... for all the saints”, he wrote very much in a spirit of hope and courage. But he was also writing with concern that some of the Christians at Colossae were wavering in their faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Saviour who by his Death and Resurrection has conquered all other principalities and powers, whether in heaven or on earth. This concern inspired in Paul the great hymn to Christ, the first-born of all creation.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church”.

Christ is our Head; all things have been subjected to him. He is our Lord. He is our beginning and our last end. As in the time of Saint Paul, so now, all our efforts to restore unity among Christians will be in vain if they are not carried out in total fidelity to the faith in Christ that was handed on by the Apostles.

5. It is my firm hope that our meeting in Rome will pave the way for the time when Rome and Canterbury will once more be fully able to proclaim together the “word of truth” as they did in the days of Gregory and Augustine. Today the Gospel has been preached far beyond our continent. We too can say with Paul that throughout the world the Gospel is “bearing fruit and growing”. The missionary task gives new urgency to our ecumenical endeavours: we have a special responsibility to the developing countries of the world where the divisions originating in Europe have been transplanted.

We also have in view the tragic conflicts and divisions which scar the face of the contemporary world. Especially in these days we think of the people of the Middle East – a region which I know is ever in the thoughts and prayers of my beloved brother here today. If men and women are to know the peace of Christ, if they are to be reconciled in him who alone can bring peace to the world, then Christians must be seen to be a community that is both reconciled and reconciling.

How great is the harvest we are called upon to reap for Christ! How many are the wounded, the lost, the lonely in the teeming cities of our world! How many are the homeless and the hungry who cry out for the Bread of Life and would make their home in Jesus Christ!

It is my prayer that during these days of the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Rome, we may truly be led by God towards that unity of all in Christ who is our Head. May our quest be a sign to the world of the peace and joy that have been given in Christ.

My dearly beloved brothers and sisters in Christ: “Grace to you and peace from God, our Father”.




Seoul (Korea)

Saturday, 7 October 1989

Chinae-hanun hyongje chamae yorobun,

545 1. Songche ane Chu Yesu-nimun hangsang chanmi padusoso!

It is with great joy that I offer praise to our Lord together with you. To all of you – bishops, priests, religious and laity – I say “Chanmi Yesu! Chu-nimul chanmihapshida!”.

My special greeting goes to Nonhyon-dong Parish: to the priests and sisters, the parish council and all the parishioners who have welcomed me here with such love and enthusiasm. I also wish to greet all the dedicated men and women who serve as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. It is most fitting that my first stop among the Korean people should be in a church such as this, where the minds and hearts of the faithful are constantly raised up in adoration before Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist,

– Christ offering himself to the Father in Sacrifice for our salvation;

– Christ giving himself to us to be eaten as the Bread of Life, so that we, too, may give ourselves for the life of others;

– Christ consoling and strengthening us on our earthly pilgrimage with his abiding presence and friendship.

In beholding the Word made flesh, now sacramentally present in the Eucharist, the eyes of our bodies are united with the eyes of faith in gazing upon the presence “par excellence” of Emmanuel, “God with us”, until that day when the sacramental veil will be lifted in the Kingdom of heaven.

If we are to experience the Eucharist as the “source and summit of all Christian life” (Lumen Gentium
LG 11), then we must celebrate it with faith, receive it with reverence, and allow it to transform our minds and hearts through the prayer of adoration. Only by deepening our Eucharistic communion with the Lord through personal prayer can we discover what he asks of us in daily life. Only by drinking deeply from the source of life-giving water “welling up within us” (Cfr. Io Jn 4,14) can we grow in faith, hope and charity. The image of the Church in worship before the Blessed Sacrament reminds us of the need to enter into a dialogue with our Redeemer, to respond to his love and to love one another.

2. Dear brother priests who are gathered here today in such numbers with the Pope: this great sacrament of love, so rich in meaning for the Christian life of all the faithful, has a special meaning for all of us who are privileged to celebrate it in persona Christi. The Second Vatican Council speaks of the “pastoral charity” that flows above all from the Eucharist, “the centre and root of the whole life of the priest” (Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 14). The Council goes on to say that the priest must strive to make his own what is enacted in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, but that “this cannot be achieved unless priests themselves penetrate ever more intimately through prayer into the mystery of Christ...” (Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 14). And so they should “seek and perseveringly ask God for a true spirit of adoration” (Ibid, 19).

Dear brothers, what is this pastoral charity that flows from the Eucharistic Sacrifice and that increases through prayer and adoration? To answer that question we must enter into the mystery of Christ. He “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant... and being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Ph 2,6-8). This is the Eternal Priest who is present in the Eucharist: the Son of God who “emptied himself” and whom God raised up for our salvation, the Son of Man “who came not to be served but to serve” (Marc. 10, 45).

Pastoral charity is the virtue by which we imitate Christ in his selfgiving and service. It is not just what we do, but our gift of self, which manifests Christ’s love for his flock. Pastoral charity determines our way of thinking and acting, our way of relating to people. It makes special demands on us, because as pastors we must be particularly sensitive to the truth contained in Saint Paul’s words: “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful... not all things build up” (1Co 10,23).

546 3. If we are to imitate Christ’s gift of self, we who are priests must live and act in ways that enable us to be close to all the members of the flock, from the greatest to the least. We will want to dwell in their midst, whether they be rich or poor, learned or in need of education. We will readily share their joys and sorrows, not only in our thoughts and prayers but also in their company, so that through our presence and our ministry they can experience God’s love. We will want to embrace a simple lifestyle, in imitation of Christ who became poor for our sake. If a priest is lacking poverty of spirit, it will be difficult for him to understand the problems of the weak and the forgotten. If he is not readily available to all, the poor and needy will find it almost impossible to approach him and to open themselves to him without embarrassment.

Pastoral charity also makes us eager to serve the common good of the whole Church, and to build up the Body of Christ, avoiding every form of scandal or division. In the words of the Council: “ “Faithfulness to Christ cannot be separated from faithfulness to his Church. Hence pastoral charity demands that priests, if they are not to run in vain, should always work within the bond of union with the bishops and their fellow priests. If they act in this manner, priests will find unity of life in the unity of the Church’s own mission” (Presbyterorum Ordinis
PO 14). Christ did not hesitate to lay down his life in obedience to the Father. Following his example, priests must have the prudence, maturity, and humility to work in harmony and under lawful authority for the good of Christ’s Body, and not arbitrarily on their own.

Pastoral charity also extends to the missionary field within the Church universal. As I said to the priests and religious during my first visit to your country in 1984, the solemn challenge of your lives is “to show Jesus to the world, to share Jesus with the world” (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Allocutio Seuli ad Presbyteros et Religiosos habita, die 5 maii 1984: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VII, 1 [1984] 1259 ss.). Today more than ever we are conscious of the spiritual and material needs of people even in the most distant places from ourselves. I urge you to cooperate generously with your bishops in helping to carry out the Church’s worldwide mission of preaching the Gospel. May you continue to promote a true missionary consciousness among all the Catholic people, while working and praying for more Korean priestly and religious vocations destined for the foreign missions.

4. Dear brothers, I know that your dedicated and zealous ministry is an important part of the Church’s vigorous life in Korea. You are very involved in your parishes, in their many organized apostolates and sodalities, and in numerous catechumenate classes. Given the many demands that are made on you, it is all the more important that you be men of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, that you “ask God for a true spirit of adoration” (Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 19) in order to be filled with love of Christ. Only in this way can you hope to grow in the pastoral charity that makes your life and ministry fruitful.

To prayer we must add the continuing spiritual and intellectual formation that is so essential if we are to keep giving of ourselves in imitation of Christ. Our interior life must be renewed and replenished through spiritual exercises and reading, and through study. Like the householder whom Jesus mentions in the Gospel, the priest is one “who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Mt 13,52).

Finally, to the laity who are present and to all the laity of Korea I make this appeal: Pray for your priests. Pray for vocations to the priesthood. It is precisely in the presence of the Eucharist that we understand and appreciate best the gift of the priesthood, for the two are inseparable. Your participation in the life of the Church and your commitment to live the Gospel are a great source of encouragement to priests. You not only inspire them to even greater pastoral charity, but you also create a fertile field where vocations to the priesthood can grow in response to God’s call.

Dear brothers and sisters, dear brother bishops, dear brothers in the priesthood: Praised be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar! Praised be our Saviour, whose presence in the Eucharist accompanies us on our earthly pilgrimage!

Songche ane Chu Yesu-numun ijerobuto yong'wonhi chanmi padusoso! Amen.





Seoul (Korea)

Saturday, 7 October 1989

"Nanum Aboji-kkeso sesang saramdul kaundeso ppoba / na'ege makkyo jushin i saramdurege / Aboji-rul punmyong'hi allyo-joussumnida" (Jn 17,6).
547 Sarang-hanun cholmuni yorobun, uri'e himang'in cholmuni yorobun!

1. These words of the Gospel take us back to the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples. They take us back to the origin of the Eucharist, which Jesus instituted as the Sacrifice of reconciliation and the Sacrament of unity for all.

Today, here in your capital city, these words remind us of the beginnings of the Gospel and of the Church on Korean soil. In 1984 I came to your country to join you in giving thanks to Almighty God for that “beginning”. which took place two hundred years ago. On that occasion I solemnly canonized your Korean Martyrs.

Andrew Kim and his companions bore witness to Christ and suffered death for their faithfulness. They are the ones to whom Christ made known the Father’s name. They are the ones the Father gave him out of the world. They became the “beginning” for so many others who have believed in Christ “through their word”, that is, through the witness of their lives (Cfr. Io
Jn 17,20). You Catholic young people of Korea know what it means to follow their example. It means to make Jesus Christ the central force of your lives and to fulfil the work that he gives you to do in the building of his kingdom!

2. The Pope is happy to meet the youth representatives of each parish in the land, of each Catholic group, association and movement. I greet each one of you! I welcome the presence of the students, the workers, the farmers; and I express my heartfelt union with those of you and all Korean youth who are burdened with suffering or illness. I gladly welcome the young men and women of other Christian communities and of other religious traditions.

Seoul has been chosen as the venue of the Forty-fourth International Eucharistic Congress. In these days, in a special way in Korea, the Church perpetuates Christ’s prayer for all those the Father has given him out of the world. At the Last Supper did he himself not say: “I am praying... for those you have given me, for they are yours” (Ibid. 17, 9)? This prayer is for all the sons and daughters of this land and this nation. This prayer is for the peoples represented here by those who have come from the other countries of Asia and from Oceania, Africa, Europe and America. Jesus’ prayer is for the whole world without distinction of nationalities, without discrimination of race or ethnic origin.

What is his prayer? Christ says to the Father: “In your name keep those you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one” (Ibid. 17, 11). The unity of Christ’s disciples, in faith and love, is the great sign that the world needs in order to believe.

3. In the Upper Room where the Eucharist was instituted Christ also prayed the following words: “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world: I consecrate myself for their sake now, that they may be consecrated in the truth” (Jn 17-18).

Young friends! Accept these words of our Master and Redeemer as words spoken about you and to you! Accept the Sacrifice through which Christ consecrates himself as an offering for you – for all, and therefore for you! Accept the mission which flows from your Christian vocation. In fact, through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist you bear within yourselves the heritage of Christ’s Sacrifice, of his Death and Resurrection. By virtue of this Sacrifice you can and should share in Christ’s saving mission: making his peace and reconciliation effective in your lives and in the world around you!

Christ’s mission, as revealed in the Gospel and signified in the Eucharist, is always and everywhere a work of unity and peace. Your presence today in this stadium, with the Pope, in the company of your bishops and priests, must become a sign of your willingness to take up this task!

Can the Church in Korea count on its young people? On the holiness of life, and on the intelligent and generous collaboration of each one of you? The Pope hopes and prays that it may be so!

548 4. The Liturgy recalls the Old Testament figure of Joseph, the son of the Patriarch Jacob, who was betrayed by his own brothers and sold to a group of travelling merchants. In this way they wished to banish him from their home, because he seemed to be above them.

The reality of disunity, of rancour and hatred, of envy and violence is all too frequent in human experience, even among members of the same family, of the same nation, and between the nations of the world. You yourselves are witnesses of the painful divisions that affect your own people. You are searching for a solution. But which of the many paths proposed is the right one? Where are true unity and true peace to be found?

The experience of Joseph can enlighten us. When he finally reveals himself to his brothers – as the one whom they had sold away into slavery – they feared a just punishment for the harm which they had inflicted upon him. But, Joseph said to them: “Fear not... you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (
Gn 50,19-20).

Here we discover an extraordinarily profound and striking dimension of human relationships: the possibility of reconciliation and pardon, the excellence of justice grounded in love and expressed in an encounter of genuine openness and brotherhood. Here we begin to see that true unity and peace are not merely questions of economic and political structures. They are, more basically, the result of human acts of sincere love and effective solidarity among individuals and peoples.

5. The Old Testament figure of Joseph has always been seen as a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.Jesus too was betrayed. He was given up to death on the Cross. All share in that death because the Son of God accepted the Sacrifice of the Cross as an offering for the sins of the world. Jesus’ ignominious death on Golgotha became the source of redemption for all mankind. By means of his Sacrifice, Christ opened the way for us to leave behind the slavery of sin and to find the path of salvation and of new life in God. That is the meaning of Jesus’ prayer the night before he died: “For their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in the truth” (Jn 17,19). Christ is our way, our truth and our life in overcoming the powers of division, disharmony and death in the world.

For you, young Christians, there should be no doubt: Jesus Christ makes true peace by the blood of the Cross (Cfr. Col Col 1,20). It is precisely on the Cross that he shows clearly that love is stronger than hatred and violence, forgiveness is more just than retribution. This is not weakness, or mere passivism. Your martyrs, many of them of your own age, were much stronger in their suffering and death than their persecutors in their hatred and violence. Violence destroys; love transforms and builds up. This is the challenge which Christ offers to you, young people of Korea, who wish to be instruments of true progress in the history of your country. Christ calls you, not to tear down and destroy, but to transform and build up!

6. I wish to say a special word of encouragement and welcome to the twelve young men and women who will receive the Sacrament of Baptism during the Mass. They symbolize all those to whom Jesus has made known the Father’s name. They remind us that we have all been given a share in the “fullness” that “dwelt” in Christ and through him is given to us as we make our earthly pilgrimage to union with the Father.

Dear young people of Korea: “new life” in Christ – this is what you can contribute to your fellow young people and to Korea. Christ is the source of a new style of life. That new life starts with an inner change of heart and leads to solidarity and service. It is made of courage in trials and difficulties, of perseverance in doing good, of self-control even in the face of harm and injustice received, and of wise and intelligent cooperation in the social and cultural development of the community in which you live.

You are witnesses of the sufferings of your people. Some of you perhaps have suffered personally for the sake of justice. As Catholic young people you must know that the rebirth to which you aspire cannot come from hatred and violence. It must come from the transforming power of the love which Jesus pours into your hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to you in Baptism and which is constantly nourished in the Eucharist (Cfr. Rom Rm 5,5). The Eucharist is both grace and mission, both gift of life and call to discipleship.

7. Jesus, “making peace by the blood of his Cross” (Col 1,20) reconciled us to the Father and to one another. The new life, the true life you all yearn for with youthful fervour, was born of the loving self-giving of Jesus on the Cross.It is this mystery of new life that we are celebrating tonight in the Eucharist. To this true life you are called to bear witness – like Andrew Kim and his companion martyrs – through your own forgiveness, through your own selfless sharing and service, through your own self-giving.

Here in Seoul, on this occasion, the Successor of Peter begs you, in the name of Christ, “to remain stable and steadfast in the faith, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel you have heard” (Col 1,23). My dear young people, be courageous witnesses before all the world of Jesus’ reconciliation and unity, be the joyful and brave instruments of his peace!

549 Serang-hanun cholmuni yorobun, yorobunun uri modu'e himang-imnida. Amen.

S. John Paul II Homil. 537