Pope Asks Whole Church to Participate in Youth Day

>> Monday, July 7, 2008

Pope Asks Whole Church to Participate in Youth Day

Invites Faithful to "Intensely Invoke" Holy Spirit

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 6, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The upcoming World Youth Day will be a new Pentecost, Benedict XVI says. And he is asking the whole Church to participate, at least spiritually, if not physically.

The Pope made this invitation today before he prayed the midday Angelus with crowds gathered at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. He emphasized the importance of Catholics worldwide joining in prayer for the July 15-20 event, to be held in Sydney, Australia.

"I invite the whole Church to share in this new stage of the great pilgrimage of young people across the world, begun in 1985 by the Servant of God John Paul II," he exhorted. "I am certain that from all the corners of the earth Catholics will be united with me and with all the young people gathered -- as in the Cenacle -- in Sydney, intensely invoking the Holy Spirit so that he will flood hearts with the inner light of love of God and of brothers, and of courageous initiative to introduce Jesus' eternal message in the diversity of languages and cultures."

Even in his greetings to pilgrims in various languages after the Angelus, the Holy Father again stressed the importance of this "spiritual participation" of the whole Church in Sydney's WYD.

The Holy Father referred to the theme of his message for the meeting, "You Will Receive Power When the Holy Spirit Has Come Upon You; and You Will Be My Witnesses," with which Christian communities have been preparing over the past year for the event.

He said: "This is the promise Jesus made to his disciples after the resurrection, and which remains always valid and actual in the Church: The Holy Spirit, awaited and received in prayer, infuses in believers the capacity to be witnesses of Jesus and his Gospel.

"Blowing on the Church's sail, the divine Spirit pushes her to 'go into the deep,' always anew, from generation to generation, to take to everyone the Good News of the love of God, revealed fully in Jesus Christ, dead and resurrected for us."

Benedict XVI said that he was "already in Australia" in thought, and took advantage of the moment to thank all those who are contributing to the preparations, especially the Australian episcopal conference and the civil authorities.

Finally, he reflected briefly on the two symbols of WYD, which are always present in these events: the young people's cross and an icon of the Virgin Mary.

"In past months, the 'young people's cross' has been taken all over Oceania and in Sydney it will be once again a silent witness of the pact of alliance between the Lord Jesus Christ and the new generations," he said. Along with the Cross, the "icon of the Virgin Mary accompanies the World Youth Days. We entrust to her maternal protection this trip to Australia and the meeting with young people in Sydney."

URL: http://www.zenit.org/article-23127?l=english


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