St. John Paul II: “Do not be like the rich young man who kept his riches and his sorrow”

Pope John Paul II’s Message for the 26th World Day of Prayer for Vocations


I still address a special thought to the young people who attend Catholic schools, also bearing in mind all the Christian youth, called to the courageous choice of faith, whatever type of school you attend.


To you who have the possibility and the luck to grow up in a Christianly inspired school, I say that yours is a privileged situation. The Church engages precious pastoral forces in your school and precisely for this reason it needs your collaboration. Enrich your intelligence with the critical and in-depth study of the various subjects. This will strengthen your faith and empower you to give a more effective Christian witness to the world. Learn from your school that integration between faith and culture so difficult to achieve in a social environment not always penetrated by Christian values. Learn, above all, to carry out a constructive synthesis between faith and life.


You will find many proposals for Christian life in the environment of your school, certainly more than elsewhere. It is in your hands not to let them get lost, rather to welcome them in a well-disposed terrain so that they bear healthy fruit. Open yourselves to prayer and to the Word that nourishes faith; exercise in the exercise of charity; collaborate in service initiatives, especially in favor of the “last”. Be witnesses of Christ in front of your contemporaries. In this way you will strengthen your life as believers, sure to commit yourself to a great cause and you will be able to feel better the voice of the Holy Spirit. And if this voice calls you to a higher and more generous love, do not be afraid.


¡Cheer up, young people! ¡Christ calls you and the world awaits you! Remember that the kingdom of God needs your generous and total dedication. Do not be like the rich young man who, invited by Christ, did not know how to decide and remained with his goods and with his sadness (Mt 19, 22), he, who had been questioned by a look of love (Mc 19, 21). Be like those fishermen who, called by Jesus, left everything immediately and became fishers of men (Mt 14, 18-22).

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