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WYD 2013: Full text of homily at opening Mass of World Youth Day

By on Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Archbishop Tempesta celebrates the opening World Youth Day Mass (AP)

Archbishop Tempesta celebrates the opening World Youth Day Mass (AP)

Dear young people!
Distinguished authorities, ecclesiastical, civil, and military!
Beloved People of God!

We are starting World Youth Day Rio 2013! You are all welcome! This wonderful city has become even more beautiful with your presence! A great joy invades us: you are here! You have come from all over the earth! During these days, this will be home to all of you! You are part of our family in this beautiful and important moment in history!

Everyone is arriving tired by their journey here: but this time is to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, to live as his disciples. This will result in our experience of missionary enthusiasm! Go and make disciples!

The Archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao of Rio de Janeiro received with great responsibility the choice made by Pope Benedict XVI, now emeritus, announced the end of the Final Mass of WYD Madrid in August 2011. We thank him for this choice and his guidelines, the theme of this WYD and his encouragement. We know he’s with us in prayer and accompanying us through the media. To him our affectionate greetings.

However, providentially, this day was destined to be a journey that, for the second time, returning to Latin America after 26 years, could be the place to welcome the first apostolic journey of Pope first Latin American history, Pope Francis, who came to preside over this beautiful and important moment in the life of the Church in these lands of São Sebastião. We officially welcomed him to the streets of this city on Monday with great joy, and we will welcome him solemnly here, in this very place on Thursday. The first Latin American Pope in history touches Latin American soil at this very World Youth Day, here in this town, in these days.

This week, Rio becomes the center of the Church, alive and young. All roads lead here. You have come from different parts of the world together for our shared faith and joy of discipleship. This happiness strengthens us and invites us to reach out to other young people, to make us missionaries to every nation. The best gift to give to others is the presence of Christ that fills us and drives us to love and give of ourselves, always in fraternal dialogue.

Here we come, too, after nearly two years of processing throughout our country with the symbols of WYD: the cross and the youth icon of Our Lady that are now a central part of these events. When these symbols were delivered from Madrid, Spain, in August 2011, a great excitement gripped the youth of our country who enthusiastically welcomed them into their communities during this time.

We have with us, across this city, many relics of the WYD patron saints and intercessors, recalling that in all times and places of the world we have young people who are sanctified. We are relatives of these people who are examplars of Christian life and who pray with us for today’s youth.

We must bring to all corners of the world the youthful enthusiasm of the young Christian who seeks to unite the witness of an authentically Christian life with the social consequences of the Gospel.

We are called to be protagonists of a new world. I’m sure you will do this in your cities and countries. The world needs young people like you!

We just heard the Gospel in which Jesus calls Matthew to discipleship. The call of Matthew announces that Christ came in order for sinners to experience mercy. He came to us that so that we could be among the people called to the obedience of faith, as Paul tells us in Romans. “We received the grace of vocation to the apostolate, we were called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, God’s beloved saints by vocation.”

The first reading, along with the psalm tell us that our response should be in readiness — saying: Here I am! Here I am! Speak for your servant is listening! Since we came to do, with pleasure, the will of the Lord (Ps 39:40).

This is the biblical expression that we wish to be on your lips and hearts today and always: Here we are, Lord! Like Matthew, are also ready for the consequences of YES to God, full of challenges and joys.

It was the call of Him who brought us together in this wonderful setting of the beach which gets its name because of the initial devotion to Our Lady of Copacabana, in the warm embrace of Christ the Redeemer. The sea, the sand, the beach and the crowd remind us of the vocation of the other disciples, and Matthew. This scenario leads us to the boats left on the beach for those who were called by Jesus to follow him. Today, we are called to follow the Risen Christ.

Jesus the Master invites us to swim in deep waters, the waters of our baptism. And this beautiful international gathering in the heart of the Year of Faith, is a favorable time to renew our commitments to the Christian community. We are called to live our faith deeply; in a time of so many questions and changes we must exude the enthusiasm and consistency of one who is led by the action of the Holy Spirit.

Reflecting on the response of Matthew, when we get up and respond positively to the Master, He comes to supper at our house and transforms our lives. To Samuel in the first reading, the call seemed like a dream, but with the help of another he was able to discern the voice of God was real. The missionary path requires discernment, utopian dream, but also the assistance of someone on our side to help us recognize the voice of God. Like Paul, we are servants of Christ, the apostles chosen by vocation and for the gospel of God!

Dear young people, our Archdiocese felt called by God to welcome you. We all respond as Samuel, Paul and Matthew: Here we are! Here we are! Our parishes, families, schools, pastoral associations, movements, groups of services. Our homes are your homes! There is a revolution of love at the moment: let us be Christ for one another! Let us be brothers! May this resonate around the world! We are called to live by building a world of brothers! We want each and everyone feel welcomed into the embrace of Christ, who calls all to be with him in building the Kingdom of God. Let us do this together!

It is Christ who invites us, saying: come, my friends! Let Him, in the footsteps of the successor of Peter, the Vicar of the Redeemer, sojourn through this river, spreading brotherhood wherever we go. That we may be harbingers of peace and harmony, urging the world to live the holiness that flows from the Redeemer of man.

And around the Master, along with other young disciples from all corners of this earth, we will say “Lord, how good it is to be here” (Mt 17:4).

Walk through this town, witness Jesus Christ, commit to a new world, infect everyone with the joy and peace of Christ as watchmen of the morning, working for the renewal of the world in the light of God’s plan.

We embark on this long pilgrimage with strength because Jesus Christ is alive among us, gives us his Holy Spirit, and we are called to live this reality and to transmit it to others so that it may be accessible to them also. Jesus Christ is always present, especially for young people who seek truth, justice and peace — and these can only be found in Him.

You, dear young people, are the gift of a hopeful society that expects its crisis of values ??has a solution. You are called to form a new generation that lives the faith and passes it on to the next generation. We are invited to an experience of faith and that we might leave here refreshed! Participation in community with the opportunity to be enthusiastic, coexisting as brothers and sisters, testifying that another world is possible! The first pilgrim who is already among us, the Holy Father, Pope Francisco, stood with us in this journey and indicate ways these days. Dear young people, do not be afraid to open your hearts to Christ!

We have many barriers to overcome and injustices. Let’s build bridges instead of walls and obstacles. The world needs you to be in this city a witness to solidarity, sharing, and acceptance of the love of Christ the Redeemer. This is the time to awaken confidence and hope as they become attitudes towards the light of tomorrow.

Mary — under so many names and invocations, and here in Brazil invoked under the title of Our Lady of Aparecida as principal patron, but also Our Lady of Penha, Our Lady of Nazareth — was and is the partner and mother of all young people. To her we entrust each of you for who accept Christ’s presence among us, walk the world as missionary disciples of the new evangelization, and protagonists of a new world, like sentinels of the morning awakening to the hope of a new dawn: Christ is risen and goes ahead of us! The Holy Spirit will enlighten our lives and give us light so that we understand our mission to lead people to the Father.

Today, we begin this journey, Christ the Redeemer tells us “Come, my friends!” During the journey, learn to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening!” And increasingly hear the Lord telling us: “Be missionaries.” “Go and make disciples of the nations!” And we all respond: “Here we are, Lord, send us!”

  • Guest

    Dear young people,

    These are very difficult times to be a Catholic. Every aspect of your relationships with God and your neighbour is under attack: the teaching of the Faith in schools or at home, the children you may come to have, the careers you may choose, the healthcare you and your family may provide or receive.

    Here in Rio you have a golden opportunity to build a spiritual and practical network among your brothers and sisters in the Faith. Support each other as Catholics. Support those who cannot be here because they cannot afford it or because they are fighting for their very lives and liberty in the Middle East, the Far East and in Africa. We have very experienced people on hand to provide you with the guidance you will need to do these things effectively.

    Heed the words of Our Lord:
    “The mark by which all men will know you for my disciples will be the love you bear one another”.

    In nomine Patris…

  • NatOns

    ‘We are called to live our faith deeply; in a time of so many questions and changes we must exude the enthusiasm and consistency of one who is led by the action of the Holy Spirit.’

    Do these wonderful and enthused young people know the Faith we are called to live deeply? One is left wondering what it is that this new generation is expected to hand on to the next: another world, indeed!

    ‘You are called to form a new generation that lives the faith and passes it on to the next generation. We are invited to an experience of faith and that we might leave here refreshed! Participation in community with the opportunity to be enthusiastic, coexisting as brothers and sisters, testifying that another world is possible!’

    http://www.salvemaliturgia.com/2013/07/jornada-mundial-da-juventude.html

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Generally speaking, the youth of the current generation have been far better catechised than most of those in the 20th century ; and as far as I understand the reports, they also tend to be far more orthodox and/or traditional -minded.

  • Sister S

    Yes, one of the reasons why Kung attacks them a lot.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “Generally speaking, the youth of
    the current generation have been far better catechised than most of
    those in the 20th century ; and as far as I understand the reports, they
    also tend to be far more orthodox and/or traditional -minded.”

    The Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said some time back, ” The youth here are catechised but not Evangelised…

    This is the TRUE PROBLEM : Evangelisation.

    As long as we are not Evangelised there is no hope of SALVATION in Jesus the Lord; we may call ourselves Christians; that is altogether another matter.

    Unsaved people cannot save others, unevangelised people cannot evangelise other. See the case of some Jewish leaders of whom St. Luke tells us:

    “The people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words,
    acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptised by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptised by John.”Luke Ch. 7 29-30

    For this very reason these Jewish leaders were not able to accept or enter the Kingdom of God Jesus the Lord brought.

    Similar is the case with the leaders of the Christian World :Unevangelised people and so they do not become TRUE APOSTLES of Jesus the Lord. Claims to the offices are there BUT no credentials in practice and fruits. Consequently the flock is destroyed in different ways.

    Only Apostles can proclaim God’s WORD fruitfully and thus bring God’s Salvation to the hearers. Others do it by way of duty of the office and by way of mere ritual.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said some time back, ” The youth here are catechised but not Evangelised…

    You make a very good point, Father, which is why the Evangelisation of our youth during these WYDs is needed in the first place.

  • NatOns

    Hmm? Well, yes, I can’t argue with statistics, and there are more today than thirty years ago willing to engage with the Faith (rather than their own beliefs) in truth, but I do wonder!

    When the Irish once more publicly and gladly and joyfully and faithfully:
    1) profess the Mass as Christ’s Holy Sacrifice at the Altar of the Cross,
    when they
    2) begin again to affirm the Church’s teaching on Transubstantiation,
    3) admit they need to confess their sins in Sacrament,
    4) get married in the eyes of the Church,
    5) shun politicians who advocate termination of innocent lives (i.e. killing the unborn),
    and
    6) seek to repair for the terrifying wounds we cause to the humble and gentle Heart of the Lord our God, Jesus Christ,
    then I’ll reconsider the catechesis currently being doled out to young souls (and old ones too) .. for it seems that better (or at very least some) evangelisation – the Good News in Catholic Truth – needs to be re-incorporated into whatever catechism they are given (especially if it is considered orthodox let alone of Sacred Tradition = the Living Faith).

  • NatOns

    http://www.stannsofcanyon.org/pictures/Pope%20Francis%20Adoration.jpg

    And an even greater need to evangelise the not quite so young – especially among leaders allotted to care for souls. How can the Old Ones guide (let alone instruct) the Young Ones in living out the faith in fear and trembling if the older souls neither have any desire to admit awe or sense of apprehension for what the Lord has set before us! Cringing worldly grief has no place in the Christian life for sure, but self-emptied, kneeling, wonder does ..

    http://www.salvemaliturgia.com/2013/07/jornada-mundial-da-juventude.html

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I am more and more convinced that the TLM and the Novus Ordo MUST each be the manifestation of each other in the Eucharist.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    You propose nothing that is not good and holy :-)

  • NatOns

    I suspect that manifestation is what used to be called the Low Mass (with music/ incense etc) – for that was the basic form of divine worship considered by the Church Fathers at the Second Vatican Council in their rather fuzzy expression of this ideal .. with greater potential use of the vernacular language/ culture; also the attempts to implement that idea (in the 1965 and ’67 revisions of the 1956/ 62 reforms); and what the New Order sought to expand, reshape and simplify (sic) – rather cack-handedly or even perhaps moved by malicious ideology.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn1y1-nTouM

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Quite.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “This will result in our experience of missionary enthusiasm! Go and make disciples!”

    There is a world of difference between “missionary enthusiasm” and “APOSTOLIC” Spirit : like “lead” and “GOLD”. Too much of philosophy and Theology makes God’s WORD useless or RELATIVE.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “Jesus Christ is always present, especially for young people who seek truth, justice and peace…”

    Those who seek, and especially those who do the seeking in their YOUTH, to find JESUS THE LORD have Truth, justice and Peace and the rest of it all in their originality. It is the Living Lord himself who told us, ” Seek first the KINGDOM of God and its Justice and everything else will be given to you; be sure it is he HIMSELF, THE WORD made flesh and dwells among us.

    His own gifts are secondary to him who gives them to us; besides they are his own creations.

    “SEEKING” The Lord is a frequent refrain of God’s Word. And it is THE TOP SECRET for Sons and Daughters of God in Jesus the Lord.

    A Paganised Christianity reverses the order of VALUES through too much of human thinking, Philosophy and theology of its own make and the result….EVILS of all sorts overwhelms us and we are forced to keep ourselves occupied fighting them branding them as fundamentalism, terrorism, materialism, consumerism, and what not!

    Better to find the problem and its solution inside and for this we need to start crying to the Lord and if the Leaders want to remain as true Leaders they must take the lead by feeding the young and old with the bread of GOD’S WORD in the spirit of THE APOSTLES or else let the young find their own way and thus be responsible for themselves.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    THANKS.
    T.P.SSP