The feed permanently redirected to another series. But whoever carefully reads these words of the Gospel must feel how deep is the antithesis between good and evil, between virtue and sin. Man needs this loving look. You must also rethink-and very profoundly-the meaning of Baptism and Confirmation.
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It is of particular significance also for the Church, as the custodian of fundamental truths and values and at the same time as the minister of the eternal destinies that man the great human family have in God himself. Since man is the fundamental and at the same time the daily way of the Church, 2 it is easy to understand why the Church attributes special importance to the period of youth as a key stage in the life of every human being. You young people are the ones who embody this youth: you are the youth of the nations and societies, the youth of every family and of all humanity; you are also the youth of the Church.
We are all looking to you, for all of us, thanks to you, in a certain sense continually become young again. It is a possession of humanity itself.
In you there is hope, for you belong to the future, just as the future belongs to you. For hope is always linked to the future; it is the expectation of "future good things". As a Christian virtue, it is linked to the expectation of those eternal good things which God has promised to man in Jesus Christ. In this sense the future belongs to you young people, just as it once belonged to the generation of those who are now adults, and precisely together with them it has become the present reality.
Responsibility for this present reality and for its shape and many different forms lies first of all with adults. To you belongs responsibility for what will one day become reality together with yourselves, but which still lies in the future. When we say that the future belongs to you, we are thinking in categories of human impermanence, which is always a journey towards the future.
When we say that the future depends on you, we are thinking in ethical categories, according to the demands of moral responsibility, which requires us to attribute to man as a person-and to the communities and societies which are made up of persons-the fundamental value of human acts, resolves, undertaking and intentions. This dimension is also a dimension proper to Christian and human hope.
And in this dimension the first and principal wish that the Church expresses for you young people, through my lips, in this Year dedicated to Youth, is this: that you should "always be prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you".
These words, once written by the Apostle Peter to the first generation of Christians, have a relationship with the whole of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To the question: "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
No one is good but God alone". But the conversation does not end here. For the young man declares: "Teacher, all these things I have observed from my youth". The Evangelist writes that "at that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. It can also be said that this meeting has a more universal and timeless character, in other words that in a certain sense it holds good constantly and continually, throughout the centuries and generations.
Christ speaks in this way to a young person, a boy or a girl; his conversation takes place in different parts of the world, in the midst of the different nations, races and cultures.
Each of you in this conversation is potentially the one he will speak to. At the same time, all the elements of the description and all the words uttered in that conversation by both sides have a significance which is absolutely essential, and have a specific weight.
One can say that these words contain a particularly profound truth about man in general, and, above all, the truth about youth. They are really important for young people. Permit me therefore to link my reflections in the present Letter mainly to this meeting and this Gospel text. Perhaps in this way it will be easier for you to develop your own conversation with Christ-a conversation which is of fundamental and essential importance for a young person.
Youth is a special treasure 3. We shall begin from what we find at the end of the Gospel text. The young man goes away sorrowful, "for he had great possessions". There is no doubt that this expression refers to the material possessions of which the young man was owner or heir. Perhaps this is the situation of some, but it is not typical. I say most often, but not always, not invariably, for in the world there is no lack of people who for various reasons to not experience youth as a treasure.
We shall have to speak of this separately. There are however reasons-and they are also objective reasons-for thinking of youth as a special treasure that a person experiences at this particular period of his or her life. It is a period which is certainly distinguished from the period of childhood it is precisely the time when one leaves the years of childhood , just as it is also distinguished from the period of full maturity. For the period of youth is the time of a particularly intense discovery of the human "I" and of the properties and capacities connected with it.
Before the inner gaze of the developing personality of the-young man or woman, there is gradually and successively revealed that specific and in a sense unique and unrepeatable potentiality of a concrete humanity, in which there is as it were inscribed the whole plan of future life.
Life presents itself as the carrying-out of that plan: as "self-fulfillment". The question naturally deserves an explanation from many points of view; but to express it in a few words, one can say that the treasure which is youth reveals itself in precisely this shape or form. This is the treasure of discovering and at the same time of organizing, choosing, foreseeing and making the first personal decisions, decisions that will be important for the future in the strictly personal dimension of human existence.
At the same time, these decisions are of considerable social importance. The young man in the Gospel was precisely in this existential phase, as we can deduce from the questions he asks in his conversation with Jesus. Therefore also the final words about "great possessions"-meaning wealth-can be understood precisely in this sense: the treasure which is youth itself.
But we must ask the question: does this treasure of youth necessarily alienate man from Christ? The Evangelist certainly does not say this: rather, an examination of the text leads us to a different conclusion. The decision to go away from Christ was definitively influenced only by external riches, what the young man possessed "possessions". Not by what he was! What he was, as precisely a young man-the interior treasure hidden in youth-had led him to Jesus.
And it had also impelled him to ask those questions which in the clearest way concern the plan for the whole of life. What must I do? What must I do so that my life may have full value and full meaning? The youth of each one of you, dear friends, is a treasure that is manifested precisely in these questions.
Man asks himself these questions throughout his life. But in the time of youth they are particularly urgent, indeed insistent. And it is good that this is so.
These questions precisely show the dynamism of the development of the human personality, the dynamism which is proper to your age. You ask yourselves these questions sometimes with impatience, and at the same time you yourselves understand that the reply to them cannot be hurried or superficial the reply must have a specific and definitive weight.
It is a question here of a reply that concerns the whole of life, that embraces the whole of human existence. These essential questions are asked in a special way by those members of your generation whose lives have been weighed down since childhood by suffering: by some physical lack or defect, some handicap or limitation, or by a difficult family or social situation.
If at the same time their minds develop normally, the question about the meaning and value of life becomes for them all the more essential and also particularly tragic, for from the very beginning the question is marked by the pain of existence. And how many such young people there are among the multitudes of young people all over the world!
In the different nations and societies; in individual families! How many are forced from childhood to live in an institution or hospital, condemned to a certain passivity which can make them begin to feel that they are of no use to humanity!
So can we say that their youth too is a interior treasure? To whom should we put this question? To whom should they put this essential question? It seems that here Christ alone is the competent one to ask, the one whom no one can fully replace. God is Love 4. Christ replies to the young man in the Gospel.
He says: "No one is good but God alone". We have already heard what the young man had asked: "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
How must I act so that my life will have meaning and value? We could translate his question into the language of our own times. Only God is good, which means this: in him and him alone all values have their first source and final completion; he is "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end".
Without him-without the reference to God-the whole world of created values remains as it were suspended in an absolute vacuum. It also loses its transparency, its expressiveness. Evil is put forward as a good and good itself is rejected. Are we not shown this by the very experience of our own time, wherever God has been removed beyond the limits of evaluations, estimations and actions? Why is God alone good? Because he is love. Christ gives this answer in the words of the Gospel, and above all by the witness of his own life and death: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son".
It comes from the very heart of the riches and the anxieties linked with that plan for life that must be undertaken and carried out. Still more so, when youth is tested by personal suffering, or is profoundly aware of the suffering of others; when it experiences a powerful shock at the sight of the many kinds of evil that exist in the world; finally, when it comes face to face with the mystery of sin, of human iniquity mysterium iniquitatis. This reply may seem difficult, but at the same time it is firm and it is true; it bears within itself the definitive solution.
Such is Christ in the conversation with the young man. Such is Christ in the conversation with each of you. When you say:"Good Teacher", he asks: "Why do you call me good? And therefore: the fact that I am good bears witness to God. Your youth opens different prospects before you; it offers you as a task the plan for the whole of your lives. Hence the question about values; hence the question about the meaning of life, about truth, about good and evil.
When Christ in his reply to you tells you to refer all this to God, at the same time he shows you what the source and foundation of this is in yourselves. For each one of you is the image and likeness of God through the very act of creation. These questions show how man without God cannot understand himself, and cannot even fulfil himself without God. Jesus Christ came into the world first of all in order to make each one of us aware of this. Without him this fundamental dimension of the truth about man would easily sink into obscurity.
However, "the light has come into the world", 18 "and the darkness has not overcome it".
DILECTI AMICI PDF
It is of particular significance also for the Church, as the custodian of fundamental truths and values and at the same time as the minister of the eternal destinies that man the great human family have in God himself. Since man is the fundamental and at the same time the daily way of the Church, 2 it is easy to understand why the Church attributes special importance to the period of youth as a key stage in the life of every human being. You young people are the ones who embody this youth: you are the youth of the nations and societies, the youth of every family and of all humanity; you are also the youth of the Church. We are all looking to you, for all of us, thanks to you, in a certain sense continually become young again. It is a possession of humanity itself.
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Mataur In short, is it really true that society is expecting my contribution? Man needs this loving look. Again, how can one pass over in silence the temptations caused by the growth, especially in the more prosperous countries, of a type of entertainment business that distracts people from a serious commitment in life and aamici passivity, selfishness and self-isolation? So can we say that their youth too is a interior treasure? Here we are no longer speaking of a simple plan of life that has to be accomplished in the future.
This is the exhortation that I address to you young people at the beginning of the present year. It is of particular significance also for the Church, as the custodian of fundamental truths and values and at the same time as the minister of the eternal destinies that man the great human family have in God himself. Since man is the fundamental and at the same time the daily way of the Church, it is easy to understand why the Church attributes special importance to the period of youth as a key stage in the life of every human being. You young people are the ones who embody this youth: you are the youth of the nations and societies, the youth of every family and of all humanity; you are also the youth of the Church.