Pope: Christ's Path Leads to Authentic Humanity

Invites Youth to Journey With Jesus

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that following the way of Jesus will lead us to discover what it means to be authentically human.

The Pope stated this today during the homily for the Palm Sunday Mass he presided over in St. Peter’s Square.

Today also marked the celebration of the 25th World Youth Day, which was held on a diocesan level worldwide and centered on the theme: «Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?» (Mark 10: 17).

Numerous young people joined the Papal liturgy for the event, including some 300 delegates who came from various countries to participate in an International Youth Forum.

The Pontiff said, «In a special way, I would like to repeat to all the young men and women, on this 25th World Youth Day, that being Christian is a journey, or better: It is a pilgrimage, it is a going with Jesus Christ, a going in that direction that he has pointed out to us and is pointing out to us.»

He affirmed that the theme of Palm Sunday is «following,» walking the way of Jesus Christ «as that way that leads to the goal, to a humanity that is fully realized and authentic.»

Christ leads us «to love — he leads us to God,» the Holy Father said.

Near to us

He affirmed: «He is the God whom deep down all men seek and whom they all have knowledge of in some way.

«But this God has given himself a name. He has made himself known to us, he has launched a history with men; he chose a man — Abram — as the beginning of this history.

«The infinite God is at the same time the God who is near. He, who cannot be enclosed in any building, nevertheless wants to live among us, be completely with us.»

«Following Christ demands as a first step the reawakening of the nostalgia for being authentically human and thus the reawakening for God,» Benedict XVI stated.

He added that it also demands that we enter the «roped party,» such as that of mountaineers who travel together, «of those who climb, into the communion of the Church.»

«In the ‘we’ of the Church,» the Pope explained, «we enter into the communion with the ‘Thou’ of Jesus Christ and therefore reach the way to God.»

«Let us pray to the Lord,» he said, «that he bring heaven to us: God’s glory and peace among men.»

«We know that heaven is heaven, a place of glory and peace, because there the will of God rules completely,» the Pontiff affirmed. «And we know that earth is not heaven until the will of God is accomplished on it.»

«So we greet Jesus, who comes from heaven and we pray to him to help us know and do God’s will,» he concluded. «May the royalty of God enter into the world and in this way it be filled with the splendor of peace.»

Global pilgrimage

At the conclusion of the Mass, before the Holy Father prayed the Angelus with the pilgrims, he recalled the Palm Sunday of 1985, the year that the United Nations declared the as «Year of Young People.»

«Venerable John Paul II wanted to welcome that occasion and, commemorating Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem, acclaimed by his disciples, initiated the World Youth Days,» Benedict XVI affirmed.

«Since then,» he added, «Palm Sunday has acquired this characteristic that every two or three years it is also marked by great global meetings, tracing a kind of pilgrimage of young people across the whole planet, following Jesus.»

«Some 25 years ago my beloved predecessor invited young people to profess their faith in Christ,» the Pope recalled. «Today I renew this call to the new generation to give witness by the meek and luminous power of the truth, so that the men and women of the third millennium do not lack the most authentic model: Jesus Christ.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Benedict XVI’s homily: http://zenit.org/article-28783?l=english

Papal Address before Angelus: http://zenit.org/article-28782?l=english

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