"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Dear young friends,
This is the question we ask ourselves at the end of our Festival, bursting with the experiences, the intensive moments you had in your encounters, in friendships that were strengthened and we ask ourselves for the future: "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Today, as in every Holy Mass, the Lord invites us to take His gifts presented at two tables: at the table of His Word and at the table of His Eucharist. Both of these tables are absolutely necessary for our life journey to continue, our journey leading us to the final goal.
One wise saying from Africa says that if you have lost your way and do not know where to go on, you need to remember where you came from. You came from all over the world, from different continents and various countries. The differences among you are vast.
As the document for the upcoming Synod on Young People to be held this October says:
"...the remarkable social and economic inequalities that generate a climate of widespread violence and drive some young people into the world of organized crime and drug trafficking; a political system dominated by corruption, that undermines confidence in our institutions and legitimizes fatalism and disengagement; situations of war and extreme poverty that drive people to emigrate in search of a better future. In some regions, young people resent the fact that fundamental freedoms and personal autonomy are not recognized by the State, including religious freedom; whereas, in other regions, social exclusion and performance anxiety drive some young people into cycles of addiction (drugs and alcohol in particular) and social isolation. In many places, poverty, unemployment and marginalization are increasing the number of young people who live in precarious conditions, both materially, socially and politically."
We are all aware of the dramas of many refugees and immigrants throughout the world, millions of them. On the other hand, however, we have the so-called developed countries where there is an abundance of material goods and an excessive consumer mentality, the veritable dictatorship of the market, while luxurious fashion as the ideal of a selfish and insensitive life, prevails for others.
Families therefore fall apart and new families are easily created again, without one caring for the destiny of the children who are so often exposed to such difficult situations, along with both psychological and material poverty.
These environments unfortunately become the setting for a spiritual desert where solitude, meaninglessness and purposelessness of life force young people to engage in profound sorrow, depression, sometimes even suicide. Such a life is indeed a pagan life.
St. Paul had no doubts concerning such behaviour and today we heard his words:
" I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds;” and he encourages us: "you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.”
You came from the world that attracts you on the one hand, and opposes you on the other. It attracts you due to numerous suggestions, due to the ever and everywhere present commercial ads, due to the many proposals about how to live our lives. It opposes you, for there are so many doubts and uncertainties, who is speaking the truth and who is lying here? Which proposals and offers are good, which are dangerous? Whom to believe and in whom should we place our trust?
The time of our youth is rather short after childhood, before the age of adulthood, and after that comes old age. It is a short time, but perhaps it is the most important one, as that is the time of basic choices and decisions that would determine our entire future life.
We, Christians, we have the responsibility of discovering our Teacher, Jesus Christ, who, after one of his disciples asks him, "How can we know the way?” He says: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
The answer is concise, but it contains everything. So, I hope that during this Festival you were able to sense at least the beginning of the journey you are to take.
The person of Jesus is truly fascinating, only if we get to know Him.
Now, hear this conversation: “And the two disciples heard what He said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi-which means Teacher- where do you live?’ He replied, ‘Come and see’, so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.”
Today, at 7 p.m., Jesus came to us and asked us the same question: What do you look for? Who do you look for, and why?
Jesus is the one safe Teacher. Do not be late to enrol in His school. In the same school, you will find one other safe Teacher – Mary, the Mother of God, Mary, the Educator and the Queen of Peace! One such school is worth more than the finest world universities! Mary does not get tired of directing us to her Son: “Do whatever He tells you to do!” This is the answer to the initial question: "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Amen.