Pope Explains Meaning of Sacrifice to Young People

Sydney Gives World Youth Day Cross to Madrid

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 5, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is telling young people that sacrifices made out of love for God, and a desire to adhere to his truth, make life rich, great and successful.

The Pope said this in the homily of today’s Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square. He addressed the young people from the diocese of Rome and other regions, who participated in the Eucharistic Celebration as part of the 24th World Youth Day, celebrated this year on a diocesan level.

“Dear friends,” he said, the reason “we are gathered here together” is that “we want to see Jesus.” He continued: “Thousands of young people went to Sydney last year for this purpose. Certainly they had many expectations about this pilgrimage. But the main objective was this: We want to see Jesus.”

The Pontiff acknowledged that “at the end of this liturgy, the young people from Australia will give the World Youth Day Cross to the young people of Spain.”

He continued: “The Cross is on its way from one side of the world to the other, from sea to sea. And we accompany it.

“Let us go forth with it along this road and, in this way, find our road. When we touch the cross, indeed, when we carry it, we touch the mystery of God, the mystery of Jesus Christ.”

We touch the mystery, explained the Holy Father, of “God’s love, the only truth that is really redemptive.” He added, “We also touch the fundamental law, the constitutive norm of our life, that is, that without the ‘Yes’ of the cross, without walking in communion with Christ day after day, life can never be a success.”

Benedict XVI noted: “The more that, for the love of the great truth and the great love — for love of the truth and love of God — we can make some sacrifice, the greater and richer our life will become.

“He who wants to keep his life for himself will lose it. He who gives his life away — daily in small gestures, that are part of the great decision — will find it.

“This is the exigent truth, a truth that is also deeply beautiful and liberating, in which we want to enter, step by step, on the cross’ journey over the continents.”

Pilgrim cross

After the Mass, before praying the Angelus, the Pope acknowledged the group of delegates meeting these days in order to plan the upcoming 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid.

He stated, “I have already indicated its theme: ‘Rooted and Built Up in Christ, Solid in Faith.'”

“As is tradition,” he explained, “the young people from Australia will give to the young people from Spain the World Youth Day cross, the ‘pilgrim cross,’ which brings the message of Christ to all the youth of the world.

The Pontiff continued: “This ‘passing on of witness’ takes on a highly symbolic value, with which we express immense gratitude to God for the gifts received at the great meeting in Sydney and for those that we will receive at the meeting in Madrid.

“Tomorrow the cross, accompanied by the icon of the Virgin Mary, will depart for the Spanish capital, and will be present there for the great Good Friday procession. After this a long pilgrimage through the dioceses of Spain will begin, and will end again in Madrid in the Summer of 2011.

“May this cross and this icon of Mary be for all a sign of Christ’s invincible love and that of his and our Mother!”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of homily: http://zenit.org/article-25577?l=english

Full text of Angelus address: http://zenit.org/article-25579?l=english

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