Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI called on young people to not pursue power, money and prestige, but to find true joy in Christ and live a life of generous service to others. In his message for World Youth Day 2012, he told the world's young Catholics to start making the world a better, more just and humane place right now, even while they continue to pursue their studies, talents and interests. Do not be content in giving the minimum, he said. "The world needs men and women who are competent and generous, willing to be at the service of the common good," the pope said. The Vatican and most dioceses around the world will mark World Youth Day on Palm Sunday, April 1. International celebrations of World Youth Day are normally held every two-three years. In the message, released by the Vatican in English, Spanish, Italian and French March 27, the pope chose the theme from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord always." The pope said: "Joy is at the heart of the Christian experience." In a world marked by so much sorrow and anxiety, "joy is an important witness to the beauty and reliability of the Christian faith." He told young people to recognize that the many temptations and false promises of modern-day culture veer people away from true and lasting happiness. People are often pressured "to seek immediate goals, achievements and pleasures" as the dominant culture "fosters fickleness more than perseverance, hard work and fidelity to commitments," he said.