Pontiff to Children: Approach Christ Without Fear

Tells Them That Jesus Is Glad to Hear From Them

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI encouraged the youth of Italian Catholic Action to not be shy about approaching Christ, as he is very interested in hearing from them.

The Pope affirmed this today in a traditional Christmas meeting with a delegation of the youth organization, urging them to take as a role model the biblical figure of Zacchaeus, «the man who meets the Lord and welcomes him with joy.»

«You too are a little like Zacchaeus, who climbed a tree because he wanted to see Jesus,» the Holy Father said. «But the Lord, looking up, noticed him immediately, in the midst of the crowd.

«Jesus sees you and hears you even though you are little, even if the grown-ups do not take account of you as you would like.»

«Always imitate the example of Zacchaeus,» Benedict XVI continued, «who immediately came down from the tree, full of joy he welcomed him into his house and did not cease to celebrate him!»

The Pope spoke to the children of Jesus as a friend who «comes to meet you and calls you!»

«He is the Son of God, he is the Lord whom you see every day in the images in churches, along the street, in houses. He speaks to you always of the love that is ‘greater,’ able to give itself without limit, to bring peace and forgiveness,» the Pontiff added.

«Only Jesus’ presence in your lives gives complete joy, because he is able to make everything always new and beautiful,» the Holy Father said. «He never forgets you.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-27894?l=english

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