The Word Among Us

February 2009 Issue

Be Prophets

Pope Benedict XVI urges young people to evangelize.

Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished—not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed.

A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy, and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships. Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of his love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity.

The world needs this renewal! In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair. How many of our contemporaries have built broken and empty cisterns (Jeremiah 2:13) in a desperate search for meaning—the ultimate meaning that only love can give? This is the great and liberating gift which the Gospel brings: It reveals our dignity as men and women created in the image and likeness of God. It reveals humanity’s sublime calling, which is to find fulfillment in love.

Taken from Benedict XVI’s homily at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, July 20, 2008.

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