POPE MESSAGE JOHN PAUL II FOR THE XXII WORLD PRAYER CONFERENCE FOR VOCATIONS
¡Young people, Christ loves you!Here is the happy announcement that cannot but fill you with admiration. My message to you cannot be other than the same from the Gospel: Christ has for you young people a love of predilection and challenges you to love.
My dialogue with you has already known the ways of the world and everywhere I have found young people thirsty for love and truth, although burdened by many questions and problems about the meaning of one’s life.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for you to fall under false guides and false teachers, who try to seduce you, abuse your generosity and even push yourself towards activities that generate only bitterness and disappointment.
I would like to ask you now: Have you found the One who has proclaimed himself the only true “Master” (Mt 23,8)? ¿Do you not know that only He “has words of eternal life” (Jn 6, 68) and has the true answers to your problems?
The love of Christ is the greatest force in the world, it is your strength. ¿Have you made this wonderful discovery? When a young man or a young woman has personally found Christ and discovered his love, he has confidence in Him, listens to his voice, decides to follow him, ready for everything, even to give your life for Him.
¡Young people, Christ calls you! Love knows different ways, because the tasks that He entrusts to each and every one of you are different.
In the sphere of Christian life, every baptized person has received his “call” from the Lord, and all vocations are important, all deserve great esteem and recognition, all must be listened to and followed with generosity. However, the Lord Jesus, in founding the Church, wanted to institute particular ministries, which He entrusts to those among his disciples whom he freely chooses.
Thus, to many of you, more than could be assumed, the Divine Redeemer wants to make you part of the ministerial priesthood to give humanity the Eucharist, to forgive sins, to preach the Gospel, to guide communities. Christ counts on you for this wonderful mission. Priests are necessary to the world because Christ is necessary.
To many of you Jesus asks you to leave everything to follow Him poor, chaste, obedient. To many young women he addresses the mysterious call to live a project of exclusive love for Him in the virginal life.
¿Do you think that these calls refer to others and may not be able to address your person? ¿Do they seem very difficult to you because they involve resignations, sacrifices and even the giving of life?
Observe the readiness of the Apostles. Observe the magnificent experience of thousands and thousands of priests, deacons, religious, consecrated laity, missionaries who have come to heroism to bear witness to the humanity of the dead and risen Christ.
Observe the generosity of thousands upon thousands of young people, who are preparing for sacred orders in seminaries, novitiates, and other formation institutions, to the profession of the evangelical counsels, to the missionary mandate. To all these young people go my expression of encouragement and the invitation to propose to their peers the ideal they are realizing.
¡Young people, Christ commands you!“Go to the whole world and announce the Gospel to all creatures” (Mc 16, 15 ). These words spoken by the Lord before ascending to the Father, he addresses today to many of you. On the threshold of the third millennium of the coming of Jesus, a great multitude of men have not yet received the light of the Gospel and lie in grave conditions of injustice and misery.
The Lord Himself reveals the disproportion between the immense needs of universal salvation and the insufficient number of his collaborators. “The harvest is great but the operators are few” (Mt 9, 37 ): exclaimed, seeing the crowds of all time tired and burdened like sheep without a shepherd. In my apostolic trips to all parts of the earth, I increasingly confirm the actuality of the Savior’s lament.
Only the grace of God, requested by prayer, can fill this painful disproportion. ¿Will you remain indifferent listening to the cry that rises from humanity? I urge you to pray and also to offer your people, if the Master of the harvest wanted to send you as operators to his harvest ( cf. Mt 9, 38 ).
Stand in the front row among those who are ready to leave their own land for a mission without borders. Through your people Christ wants to reach all of humanity.