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Flanked by two Polish youths

ANSA - ETTORE FERRARI

Pope Officially Opens Registration for World Youth Day

Thousands Gather in St. Peter’s Square for Sunday Angelus Address

During his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis officially opened registrations for the 31st World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

Joined by a young man and a young woman, the Holy Father was handed a tablet where he launched the online registration.

“There, I am registered!” he exclaimed. “Through this electronic device I have registered as a pilgrim to this day. Celebrated during the Year of Mercy, this Day will be, in a certain sense, a jubilee of the youth, called to reflect on the theme: “Blessed on the merciful, for they will find mercy”.

The Pope invited the youth of world to participate, either by going to Poland or in their own communities.

In his address, the Argentinian Pontiff reflected on today’s Gospel which recounted the multiplication of the loaves. Speaking on how the disciples tried to reason in “market terms” in order to feed the large crowds, the Pope said that Jesus substitutes that logic of buying with the logic of giving, exemplified by the young boy who was willing to give all that he had: 5 loaves and two fishes.

“Jesus precisely waited for this,” he said. “He orders his disciples to have the people sit, then takes those loaves and those fishes, he gives thanks to the Father and distributes them.”

“These gestures anticipate those of the Last Supper, that give Jesus’ bread its most profound and truest meaning. The bread of God is Jesus Himself. Making Communion with Him, we receive His life in us and we become children of the Heavenly Father and brothers among us. To participate in the Eucharist means to enter in Jesus’ logic, the logic of gratefulness, of sharing. And as much as we are poor, we can all give something. “To Make Communion” means also to draw from Christ the grace that enables us to share with others that which we are and what we have.

Continuing his address, the Pope said that while the people are struck by Jesus’ action, the true miracle is satisfying the hunger for God. Like the young boy in the Gospel, Christians are called to offer what little they have.

“Who among us does not have their ‘five loaves and two fishes’”? he asked. “We all have it! If we are willing to place it in the Lord’s hands, it would be enough so that in the world there would be a bit more love, of peace, of justice and above all, of joy. How much we are in need of joy in the world! God is capable of multiplying our little gestures of solidarity and make us participants of His gift.”

Prior to the recitation of the Angelus prayer, the Pope called on the faithful to pray “so that the Bread of Heaven lacks for no one which gives eternal and what is necessary for a dignified life.”

A prayer, he said, that confirms the logic of sharing and love.

About Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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