VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2003 ( In message to young people, John Paul II says their mission "consists in acting in such a way that all human beings become to a greater extent each day a people of brothers and sisters."

The papal message was sent Monday for the occasion of the 26th Pilgrimage of Trust Across the Earth, organized by the France-based ecumenical Community of Taizé in the German city of Hamburg.

Thousands of participants are expected to attend the European youth meeting Dec. 29-Jan. 2. The previous similar event, held in Paris, attracted 80,000 young people.

The Holy Father in his message "encourages you to take the time to discover, in the depths of your heart, the desire for life and happiness that is within you. The Lord wants to help you to grow constantly, in order to become 'perfect in Christ.'"

"He also calls you to turn towards your brothers and sisters, to recognize in each the face of the Lord," the Pope adds. "This way of looking helps to create fraternal relationships and to give confidence to those who are often the most disregarded and forgotten in society."

"When you contemplate the cross of the Savior, you can discover the greatness of God's love for every human being," he says.

Therefore, the mission of youth consists in helping all human beings to "become to a greater extent each day a people of brothers and sisters, where each one is recognized not for what he has but for what he is," the Pontiff adds.

"Follow the advice of St. Gregory of Nyssa: 'Do not keep everything for yourselves, but share with the poor, who are God's favored ones. Everything belongs to God, our common Father. And we are all brothers and sisters in the same family,'" the Holy Father writes.

"May you always look at others, and yourselves, in the same way that Jesus himself looks at every human being, with tenderness, mercy and forgiveness, a look that sets people on the road of life and opens a future full of hope," he says. "In this way you will discover that forgiving our brothers and sisters disposes us to pray and to meet the Lord."