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Cardinal Parolin’s Advice for WYD Panama 2019: ‘Transform the World by Imitating Mary’

‘May Young People Become the Evangelizers of Other Young People’

“May young people become the evangelizers of other young people,” is the wish expressed by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to “Vatican News” (Manuella Affejee) a few days before Panama’s 2019 WYD. The Cardinal encourages young people to transform the world by imitating Mary.

To Engage Themselves in Politics and in Evangelization

Cardinal Parolin encourages young people to “engage completely, not to wash their hands, not to think of themselves, but to put themselves at God’s disposition to make the world that God wants.”

He acknowledges: “that there are already many young people that are engaged.”

However, he stresses engagement in politics, recalling Pope Francis’ Message for the 2019 World Day of Peace — “Good Politics Is at the Service of Peace” –. “Politics is an area where young people can operate, act to change the world with politics understood as a service to society, for the common good of persons and peoples.”

Cardinal Parolin also stresses young people’s engagement in evangelization. “It’s important that young people become evangelizers of other young people; it’s an engagement to proclaim the Gospel as a response to the expectations and needs of today’s world.”

To Have the Virgin Mary’s Attitude to Change the World

What is at stake, therefore, is the transformation of the world, explains Cardinal Parolin. “The whole world wants a better world, but how to do it, how to transform it? We have the example of the Virgin Mary who shows us how to change the world. It is first of all to know God and then to put oneself at God’s disposition and of His salvation. It’s what the Virgin did. She said: “I am the handmaid of the Lord.” Then, I think that all Christians, all of Jesus’ disciples, must put themselves in the same disposition of spirit, in the same attitude, in the same way of acting to truly change the world, little by little. It’s the only solid change that can bring a novelty to our world.”

In the Wake of the Synod’s Joy

The Secretary of State situated Panama’s WYD in the wake of the Synod on Young People of October 2018. “It’s the first World Youth Day since last October’s Synod of Bishops on Young People. And I think the spirit will be the same, it will continue: a spirit of joy that was experienced at the Synod last year and also the spirit of trust in young people. Young people are part of the Church; they aren’t outside; they are members of the Church in their own right, it’s important, the spirit to accompany young people after having listened to their hopes, their expectations, what they cherish as projects.”

What the Church proposes to them is “the proclamation of Jesus as response to the most profound expectations and aspirations of young people’s heart.”

The Contribution of Indigenous Peoples

In connection with the “Pre-WYD “ of the youths of indigenous peoples of the world, which is taking place in Panama at this moment (January 17-21), Cardinal Parolin stressed the importance of the contribution of their values. “”I think that the Pope, who is very sensitive to the topic of indigenous cultures and indigenous young people, is going to stress especially the importance of the contribution that these cultures and these young people can make to society in face of the culture of indifference, of the culture of rejection.”

The message to these young people is that they also be “proud” of their cultures,” in the sense of stressing that society live more based on being than on having: utilitarianism, materialism: and to “have relations with these peoples and these cultures and to change the world through the contribution of these values and these characteristics.”

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