Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tim Kaine chosen VP by Hilary Clinton - a "Catholic" who supports state-funded Abortions - OFFICIAL statement by Bishop

On Tuesday July 26, 2016, Hilary Clinton was officially nominated by the Democratic Party as the Presidential candidate for the 2016 elections. She has chosen Tim Kaine as her Vice-Presidential candidate. Timothy Michael "Tim" Kaine  was born on February 26, 1958. He is an American attorney and junior United States Senator from Virginia. He is a longe-time member of the Democratic Party. Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012. Kaine supports state funding of Abortions and Same-sex marriage. 
He was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School. Kaine was elected governor of Virginia in 2005.  Kaine was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the oldest of three sons born to Mary Kathleen (born Burns), and Albert Alexander Kaine, Jr. He was raised Catholic. Kaine's father is of Scottish and Irish descent, and his mother is of Irish descent. He worked with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Honduras for 1 year and is fluent in Spanish. He and his wife, Anne Holton have three children: Nat (b. 1990), Woody (b. 1992), and Annella (b. 1995). Kaine and his wife have been members of the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond, for 30 years. 
OFFICIAL Statement of the Bishop of Richmond:
Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Statement
Regarding Catholics in Public Office

The Catholic Church makes its position very clear as it pertains to the protection of human life, social justice initiatives, and the importance of family life. From the very beginning, Catholic teaching informs us that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death. The right to life is a fundamental, human right for the unborn and any law denying the unborn the right to life is unequivocally unjust.
Legislative issues pertaining to these matters are advocated on behalf of myself and Bishop Loverde, of the Diocese of Arlington, before the Virginia General Assembly, U.S. Congress, and with state and federal agencies and administrations through the Virginia Catholic Conference, a public policy advocacy organization. Through this organization, elected officials in Virginia are aware of the Church’s positions on such important issues.
We continue to maintain an open communication with public officials who make on-going decisions impacting critical, moral and social issues. This is a responsibility I take seriously, along with my brother bishops, to reach out to public leaders to explain Catholic principles and encourage them to protect human life and dignity in all decisions they make.
We always pray for our Catholic leaders that they make the right choice, act in the best judgment and in good conscience, knowing the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.
It is the duty of all Catholics, no matter their profession, to decide through an upright and informed conscience as to their worthiness to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

#PopeFrancis "...you are gathered to come together spiritually with World Youth Day" Message to US-Mexico Border town


Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has released a video message to the young people of the US Diocese of Brownsville.

The Diocese of Brownsville lies on the Mexican border and is considered one of the most impoverished areas of the United States. The gathering of young people was organized to coincide with World Youth Day, which is taking place in Krakow, Poland and to mark the Feast of Saint Anne, the patron of the Parish where the event is taking place.  
Pope Francis’s message to the young people of Diocese of Brownsville (Texas):
Dear young people of the Diocese of Brownsville, gathered on the feast day of Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. I know that you are gathered in Texas, very close to Mexico, very close to Latin America. And I know that you are gathered to come together spiritually with World Youth  Day in Krakow. I want to be close to you. I want to tell you to always look forward, always look towards the horizon, don’t let life put walls in front of you, always look at the horizon. Always have courage to want more, more, more … with courage, but, at the same time, do not forget to look back to the heritage you have received from your ancestors, from your grandparents, from your parents; to the legacy of faith that you now have in your hands, as you look forward.
I know that some of you will ask me: “Father, yes, you tell us to look at the horizon and to remember things, but today, what do I do?” Play life to the full! Today, take life as it comes and do good to others. In the world today, a game is being played out in which there is no room for substitutes: either you’re in the team or you’re out. Take the memories you’ve inherited, look towards the horizon and today, grasp life and carry it forward, use it productively, make it fruitful. God calls you to be fruitful! God calls you to transmit this life to others. God calls you to create hope. God calls you to receive mercy and show mercy to others. God calls you to be happy. Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid. Play life to the full! That is life.
I wish you a good meeting of young people, united to World Youth Day, united with young people who are in Krakow. Live enthusiastically and go forward! May the Virgin Mary take great care of you and may Jesus bless you. And please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.

#BreakingNews 19 Disabled Killed with Knives by Euthanasia supporter at Center in Japan - Please PRAY

"Euthanasia for Disabled": 19 disabled persons killed by 26-year old Japanese



The murderer, Satoshi Uematsu, had worked in the center that houses 150 disabled. He had written to parliament seeking euthanasia for the disabled who can not "be active in society." He turned himself in to the police with a bag full of knives still dirty with blood.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In what has been described as the worst massacre in decades, 19 disabled people were killed last night while they slept and 25 injured in a hospice in Sagamihara, 40 km south-east of Tokyo.
Their killer, Satoshi Uematsu, 26, had been employed at the center and in the past had expressed his support for a "euthanasia for the disabled".
At 3 am, after having carried out the massacre, the young man turned himself in to police carrying a bag full of knives and sharp instruments still soiled with blood. "It 's better that people with disabilities disappear," he told police.
The Tsukui Yamayuri-En center cares for about 150 people with severe disabilities. The young assasin, who had worked at the center, last February had presented a letter to the Japanese parliament demanding euthanasia for the handicapped.
In the letter, cited by the media, he said: "My goal is a world where, in cases where it is difficult for highly disabled persons to live at home and be active in society, they can be killed by euthanasia, with the consent their guardians”.
A woman who has previously worked at the center, said that many of the patients are deeply disabled. "They are truly innocent people," she added. "What have they done?".
Among those killed there are 9 men and 10 women, aged between 17 and 70 years. Among the wounded, at least 20 are in very serious condition.
Text from AsiaNewsIT- Image Google Images

#PopeFrancis " the world is at war because it has lost (sight) of peace.” Interview with Journalists on Plane

(Vatican Radio)  Referring to recent acts of violence, Pope Francis said on Wednesday that the world is at war but stressed “it is not a war of religions but for power. "It is," he continued, “a war about (economic) interests, money, natural resources and the domination of peoples." The Pope was responding to questions about the recent series of attacks including Tuesday's killing of a Catholic priest in France, put to him by journalists accompanying him on the plane from Rome to Krakow in Poland.  
All religions, he said “desire peace. Others want war.” Right!
Pope Francis noted that the word which is being repeated very often is “insecurity” but the real word is “war.”  The world is at war, a piecemeal war.  There was the 1914 war with its methods, then the 1939-45 one and now this one.”
“It is not very organic (structured) but it is organized, it is war.  This saintly priest, killed right at the moment when he was offering prayers for peace.  He is one (victim), but how many Christians, how many innocent people, how many children… Let’s think about Nigeria, for example.  We say, well, that is Africa!  It’s war.  We’re not frightened to say this truth, the world is at war because it has lost (sight) of peace.”
Speaking next about the World Youth Day gathering in Poland, the Pope continued: “Young people always tell us to have hope.  We’re hoping that young people can tell us something that is (about) a bit more than hope at this time.” 
Finally, Pope Francis expressed thanks for the condolences he received following the killing of the priest in France, “especially” those from France’s President Hollande, who he said had spoken to him on the phone “like a brother.” 

#PopeFrancis arrives at #WorldYouthDay in Poland! FULL VIDEO Ceremony - #Krakow16

Pope Francis has arrived in Poland for World Youth Day. He will stay for 5-days in Krakow and also visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. 
The Pontiff will celebrate Holy Mass at the nation's holiest shrine at Jasna Gora, say a prayer at the Shrine of Divine Mercy and celebrate Mass together with the young people from across the world who have travelled to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day .     
Pope Francis is due to return to the Vatican on Sunday, July 31.
FULL TEXT from the opening ceremony of Pope Francis to Polish Authorities:
Mr President,
Honourable Authorities, 
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps, 
University Rectors, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I offer a respectful greeting to His Excellency the President, and I thank him for his gracious welcome and kind words. I am pleased to greet the distinguished members of Government and Parliament, the University Rectors, the regional and municipal Authorities, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and the other authorities present. This is my first visit to central-eastern Europe and I am happy to begin with Poland, the homeland of the unforgettable Saint John Paul II, originator and promoter of the World Youth Days. Pope John Paul liked to speak of a Europe that breathes with two lungs. The ideal of a new European humanism is inspired by the creative and coordinated breathing of these two lungs, together with the shared civilization that has its deepest roots in Christianity.

Memory is the hallmark of the Polish people. I was always impressed by Pope John Paul’s vivid sense of history. Whenever he spoke about a people, he started from its history, in order to bring out its wealth of humanity and spirituality. A consciousness of one’s own identity, free of any pretensions to superiority, is indispensable for establishing a national community on the foundation
of its human, social, political, economic and religious heritage, and thus inspiring social life and culture in a spirit of constant fidelity to tradition and, at the same time, openness to renewal and the future. In this sense, you recently celebrated the 1,050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. That was indeed a powerful moment of national unity, which reaffirmed that harmony, even amid a diversity of opinions, is the sure path to achieving the common good of the entire Polish people.

Similarly, fruitful cooperation in the international sphere and mutual esteem grow through awareness of, and respect for, one’s own identity and that of others. Dialogue cannot exist unless each party starts out from its own identity. In the daily life of each individual and society, though, there are two kinds of memory: good and bad, positive and negative. Good memory is what the
Bible shows us in the Magnificat, the canticle of Mary, who praises the Lord and his saving works.

Negative memory, on the other hand, keeps the mind and heart obsessively fixed on evil, especially the wrongs committed by others. Looking at your recent history, I thank God that you have been able to let good memory have the upper hand, for example, by celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the forgiveness mutually offered and accepted between the Polish and German episcopates, following the Second World War. That initiative, which initially involved the ecclesial communities, also sparked an irreversible social, political, cultural and religious process that changed the history of relationships between the two peoples. Here too we can think of the Joint Declaration between the Catholic Church in Poland and the Orthodox Church of Moscow: an act that inaugurated a process of rapprochement and fraternity not only between the two Churches, butalso between the two peoples.

The noble Polish nation has thus shown how one can nurture good memory while leaving the bad behind. This requires a solid hope and trust in the One who guides the destinies of peoples, opens closed doors, turns problems into opportunities and creates new scenarios from situations that appeared hopeless. This is evident from Poland’s own historical experience. After the storms and dark times, your people, having regained its dignity, could say, like the Jews returning from Babylon, "We were like those who dream... our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy” (Ps 126:1-2). An awareness of the progress made and joy at goals achieved, become in turn a source of strength and serenity for facing present challenges. These call for the
courage of truth and constant ethical commitment, to ensure that decisions and actions, as well as human relationships, will always be respectful of the dignity of the person. In this, every sphere of action is involved, including the economy, environmental concerns and the handling of the complex phenomenon of migration.

This last area calls for great wisdom and compassion, in order to overcome fear and to achieve the greater good. There is a need to seek out the reasons for emigration from Poland and to facilitate the return of all those wishing to repatriate. Also needed is a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights, including the right to profess one’s faith in freedom and safety. At the same time, new forms of exchange and cooperation need to be developed on the international level in order to resolve the conflicts and wars that force so many people to leave their homes and their native lands. This means doing everything possible to alleviate the suffering while tirelessly working with wisdom and constancy for justice and peace, bearing witness in practice to human and Christian values.

In the light of its thousand-year history, I invite the Polish nation to look with hope to the future and the issues before it. Such an approach will favour a climate of respect between all elements of society and constructive debate on differing positions. It will also create the best conditions for civil, economic and even demographic growth, fostering the hope of providing a good life for coming generations. The young should not simply have to deal with problems, but rather be able to enjoy the beauty of creation, the benefits we can provide and the hope we can offer. Social policies in support of the family, the primary and fundamental cell of society, assisting underprivileged and poor families, and helping responsibly to welcome life, will thus prove even more effective. Life must always be welcomed and protected. These two things go together – welcome and protection, from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the State, the Church and society to accompany and concretely help all those who find themselves in serious difficulty, so that a child will never be seen as a burden but as a gift, and those who are most vulnerable and poor will not be abandoned.


Mr President,

As throughout its long history, Poland can count on the cooperation of the Catholic Church, so that, in the light of the foundational Christian principles that forged Poland’s history and identity, the nation may, in changed historical conditions, move forward in fidelity to its finest traditions and with trust and hope, even in times of difficulty. In expressing once again my gratitude, I offer heartfelt good wishes to you and all present, for a serene and fruitful service of the common good.


May Our Lady of Czestochowa bless and protect Poland!


Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. July 27, 2016

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 403


Reading 1JER 15:10, 16-21

Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth!
a man of strife and contention to all the land!
I neither borrow nor lend,
yet all curse me.
When I found your words, I devoured them;
they became my joy and the happiness of my heart,
Because I bore your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
I did not sit celebrating
in the circle of merrymakers;
Under the weight of your hand I sat alone
because you filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain continuous,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook,
whose waters do not abide!
Thus the LORD answered me:
If you repent, so that I restore you,
in my presence you shall stand;
If you bring forth the precious without the vile,
you shall be my mouthpiece.
Then it shall be they who turn to you,
and you shall not turn to them;
And I will make you toward this people
a solid wall of brass.
Though they fight against you,
they shall not prevail,
For I am with you,
to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD.
I will free you from the hand of the wicked,
and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.

Responsorial PsalmPS 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18

R. (17d) God is my refuge on the day of distress.
Rescue me from my enemies, O my God;
from my adversaries defend me.
Rescue me from evildoers;
from bloodthirsty men save me.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
mighty men come together against me,
Not for any offense or sin of mine, O LORD.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
O my strength! for you I watch;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
As for my God, may his mercy go before me;
may he show me the fall of my foes.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
But I will sing of your strength
and revel at dawn in your mercy;
You have been my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of distress.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
my merciful God!
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

AlleluiaJN 15:15B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

Saint July 27 : St. Pantelon : #Patron of #Bachelors



St. Pantaleon
MARTYR
Feast: July 27


Information:
Feast Day:July 27
Died:305
Patron of:against consumption, against tuberculosis bachelors, doctors, physicians, torture victims

Saint Pantaleon the Healer, Patron Saint of Physicians

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 28, we celebrate the feast day ofSaint Pantaleon the Healer (also known as Saint Panteleimon, died 303), physician, confessor, and martyr for the faith. While serving as physician to the Emperor Maximianus, Saint Pantaleon lived his faith loudly, despite persecution of Christians, and through his witness and charity to the poor and enslaved, earned the martyrs’ crown. He is considered a contemporary to Saints Cosmas and Damian, also Christian physicians who suffered for their faith. Saint Pantaleon, whose name means the “all-compassionate one,” is the patron saint of physicians.Pantaleon was born. in the city of Nicodemia (currently called Izmit, in northern Turkey near the Black Sea). His mother, Eubula, was a devout Christian who raised her son in the Christian way of life, while his father, Eustorgius, did not convert until much later. Sadly, Eubula passed away while Pantaleon was still quite young. While he had been exposed to Christianity, Pantaleon did not fully practice as a young man. Handsome, polite, and humble, he radiated happiness and peace to all he encountered, but was drawn to worldly pursuits. His father sent him to study under a famous physician, and eventually was appointed the royal physician to the court of Emperor Maximian.
While at the royal court, Pantaleon fell further from the faith, deceived by hearing the false maxims of the world applauded. It was then that the Lordsent a model of the faith, a zealous and prudent Christian named Hermolaus, to Pantaleon, to serve as advisor and friend. Hermolaus took special notice of the young physician and awakened his conscience, telling him that although the famous physicians of ancient times had possessed the science which cures bodies, Jesus Christ was a far more excellent Physician, able to cure not only bodies, but souls, by His divine doctrine. Through continued discussion and counsel, Pantaleon came to accept Christ into his heart. 


Soon thereafter, Pantaleon experienced a miraculous healing, saving a child from certain death after being bitten by a viper. Needing no further proof of the power of the Lord, he was baptized into the faith, and undertook a rigorous course of study on the Sacraments of the Church, Holy Communion, and the teachings and practices of the faithful. Through his faith, he subsequently cured a man of blindness, which led him to the faith. Similarly, his father, hearing of his son’s healings, converted, receiving Christ into his heart.



When Eustorgus, his father, died, Saint Pantaleon liberated all his slaves on the family estate, and, having sold most of his possessions, gave to the liberated ones and others the assistance their poverty required. He cured other illnesses and soon became renowned in Nicodemia, attracting the attention of competing physicians. They wished to betray him to the Emperor, who was actively persecuting Christians.
Pantaleon was ordered to appear before the Emperor, who described the charges against him. The emperor had grown to like and trust Pantaleon, and attempted to save him by offering him the chance to make sacrifice to the pagan Roman gods. Of course, Pantaleon refused, and it was ordered that he be tortured and killed. After multiple attempts to kill him—which he miraculously survived—Saint Pantaleon was beheaded. 



The body of Saint Pantaleon was anointed with myrrh and buried outside of the city. His remains, or a portion of them, were later translated to Constantinople, where they are venerated today. It is said that his blood, conserved in a small vial, liquefies on his feast day, becoming oxygenated. Some of his relics, including his head, were later again translated to France by Charlemagne, and reside in the abbey of Saint Denys near Paris and in Lyons.

Prayer of the Sick to Saint Pantaleon

Saint Pantaleon, you know that it is hard to be ill without hope to get well again. Sometimes it is even more difficult to see someone suffer whom we love and whom we cannot help. Pray for the doctors in whom we trust. Give them wisdom and patience for the right way of treatment. 

You emulated God's mercy, and He granted you the power of healing, o Pantaleon, victorious martyr of Christ. Heal our spiritual diseases through your intercession, and as we constantly cry out to the Lord, 'Save us!' take away the temptations which the enemy always places before our steps. Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that by the prayers of thy holy Martyr blessed Pantaleon, we may be delivered from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul.His feast day is 27 July, also 28 July, and 18 February.


Text from 365 Rosaries Blogspot

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Today's #HolyMass Readings and Video : Tues. July 26, 2016 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 402


Reading 1JER 14:17-22

Let my eyes stream with tears
day and night, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people,
over her incurable wound.
If I walk out into the field,
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city,
look! those consumed by hunger.
Even the prophet and the priest
forage in a land they know not.

Have you cast Judah off completely?
Is Zion loathsome to you?
Why have you struck us a blow
that cannot be healed?
We wait for peace, to no avail;
for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness,
the guilt of our fathers;
that we have sinned against you.
For your name’s sake spurn us not,
disgrace not the throne of your glory;
remember your covenant with us, and break it not.
Among the nations’ idols is there any that gives rain?
Or can the mere heavens send showers?
Is it not you alone, O LORD,
our God, to whom we look?
You alone have done all these things.

Responsorial PsalmPS 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13

R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

#WorldYouthDay "Carry the good news about Jesus Christ to the world." FULL TEXT - Opening Mass - Video

Introduction (Opening Mass for World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland - July 26, 2016 -
with Cardinal Stansiław Dziwisz Metropolitan Archbishop of Krakow My dear friends! The moment we have been waiting 3 years for has arrived. We have been waiting since the day Pope Francis announced in Rio de Janeiro that the next World Youth Day would take place in Poland – in Krakow. The clock fitted on the facade of St. Mary's Basilica in the heart of historic Krakow counted the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the moment which we are now experiencing. But a more important clock, registering the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, spiritually prepared us for the meeting of young disciples of the Master of Nazareth that we are beginning today.
You have come from all continents and nations, from the East and West, the North and South of our globe. You bring with you many experiences. You bring many desires. You speak numerous languages. But starting today we are going to communicate with each other in the language of the Gospel. This is a language of love, brotherhood, solidarity and peace.
I welcome you all most cordially in the city of Karol Wojtyła – Saint John Paul II. It is here that he grew up to serve the Church, and it is from here that he set off to the ways of the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I welcome you in the city where we especially experience the mystery and gift of Divine Mercy.
Cari amici – benvenuti a Cracovia!
Dear friends – welcome to Cracow!
Chers amis – bienvenus à Cracovie!
Liebe Freunde – herzlich willkommen in Krakau!
Queridos amigos – bienvenidos a Cracovia!
Queridos amigos - Bem-vindos à Cracóvia!
Дорогие Друзья! Добро пожаловать в Краков!
Дорогі друзі, вітаємо у Кракові!
Drodzy Przyjaciele – witajcie w Krakowie!
Brothers and sisters, let us open our hearts to receive the word of God and the gift of the Eucharist. May the crucified and risen Lord, the saviour of the world, stand among us. Let us commend to Him all our thoughts and feelings, hopes and expectations regarding the festival of faith of the young church that is beginning. But because we are aware of our sins and our disloyalty to the ideals of the Gospel, let us apologize to God so that we could jointly celebrate the Most Holy Sacrifice of this Mass with pure hearts.
Homily
Dear Friends!
1. Listening to the dialogue of the risen Jesus with Simon Peter on the bank of Lake Tiberias, hearing the triple question about love and the answer to it, we have in mind the hardships of the life of this fisherman of Galilee that preceded this crucial conversation. We know that [Simon Peter] one day left everything – his family, boat and nets – and followed an unusual Teacher from Nazareth. [Simon Peter] became [Jesus’] disciple. He learned [Jesus’] way of looking at the matters of God and people. He lived through [Jesus’] passion and death, as well as through a moment of personal weakness and betrayal. Afterwards, he experienced a moment of astonishment and joy connected with Jesus' resurrection, who appeared to His closest disciples before ascending into heaven. We also know the continuation of the conversation, or rather the trial of love that today's Gospel speaks about. Simon Peter, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, became a brave witness to Jesus Christ. He became a rock of the emerging Church. For all this he paid the highest price in the capital city of the Roman empire – he was crucified like his Master. Peter's bloodshed in the name of Jesus became the seed of faith and initiated the growth of the Church, which engulfed the whole world. Today, Christ speaks to us in Krakow, at the banks of the Wisła river, which flows through all of Poland – from the mountains to the sea. Peter's experience may become ours and inspire us to reflect.
Let us pose three questions and look for the answers. First, where do we come from? Second, where are we today, in this moment of our lives? And third, where are we going to go and what are we going to take with us?
  • Where do we come from? We come from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5), like those who came in great numbers to Jerusalem on Pentecost Day, but there are incomparably more of us now than two thousand years ago, because we are accompanied by centuries of preaching the Gospel, which since then has reached the furthest ends of the world. We bring our experience of various cultures, traditions and languages. What we also bring are testimonies of faith and holiness of our brothers and sisters, followers of the risen Lord, of past generations as well as the current generation. We come from such parts of the world where people live in peace, where families are communities of love and life and where young people can pursue their dreams. But among us are also young people from countries whose people are suffering due to wars and other kinds of conflicts, where children are starving to death and where Christians are brutally persecuted. Among us are young pilgrims from parts of the world that are ruled by violence and blind terrorism, and where authorities usurp power over man and nations, following insane ideologies. We bring to this meeting with Jesus during these days our personal experiences of living the Gospel in our difficult world. We bring our fears and disappointments, but also our hopes and yearning, our desire to live in a more human, more fraternal and united world. We acknowledge our weaknesses, but at the same time believe that “we can do all things through [Jesus] who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13). We can face the challenges of the modern world, in which man chooses between faith and disbelief, good and evil, love and its rejection.
  • Where are we now, at this moment of our lives? We have come from near and far. Many of you have travelled thousands of kilometres and invested much in your journey to be here. We are in Krakow, the former capital of Poland, to which the light of faith reached one thousand fifty years ago. Polish history was difficult, but we have always tried to remain faithful to God and the Gospel. We are all here because Christ has gathered us. He is the light of the world. Whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness (Jn. 8:12). He is the way, and the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6). He has the words of eternal life. To whom shall we go? (Jn. 6:68). Only He – Jesus Christ – is able to satisfy the deepest desires of the human heart. It is He who has led us here. He is present among us. He is accompanying us like He accompanied His disciples headed for Emmaus. Let us entrust Him in these days our matters, fears and hopes. During these days, He will be asking us about love, like He asked Simon Peter. Let us not avoid responding to these questions. Meeting with Jesus, we simultaneously realize that we all make up a great community – the Church – which surpasses the boundaries established by people and which divide people. We are all God's children, redeemed by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Experiencing the universal Church is a great experience associated with World Youth Day. The image of the Church depends on us – on our faith and sanctity. It is up to us to ensure that the Gospel reaches those who have not yet heard about Christ or have not learnt enough about Him. Tomorrow, the Peter of our times – Pope Francis – will arrive among us. The day after tomorrow, we will greet him in this same place. In the following days, we will listen to his words and pray together with him. The presence of the Pope at World Youth Day is yet another beautiful and characteristic feature of this celebration of faith.
  • And finally the third, last question: where are we going and what will we take with us from here? Our meeting will last only a few days. It is going to be an intense, spiritual and, to a certain extent, physically demanding experience. Afterwards, we will return to our homes, families, schools, universities and to our places of employment. Maybe we will make some important decisions during these days? Maybe we will set some new goals in our lives? Maybe we will hear the clear voice of Jesus, telling us to leave everything and follow Him? With what will we return? It is better to not anticipate the answer to this question. But let us take up a challenge. During these days, let us share with each other what is most valuable. Let us share our faith, our experiences, our hopes. My dear young friends, may these days be an opportunity to form your hearts and minds. Listen to the catecheses delivered by bishops. Listen to the voice of Pope Francis. Participate wholeheartedly in the divine liturgy. Experience the merciful love of the Lord in the sacrament of reconciliation. Discover also the churches of Krakow, the wealth of the culture of this city, as well as the hospitality of its inhabitants and of those of neighbouring towns, where we will find rest after a day’s rigors. Krakow is alive with the mystery of Divine Mercy, also owing to humble Sister Faustina and John Paul II, who made the Church and the world sensitive to this specific trait of God. Returning to your countries, homes and communities, carry the spark of mercy, reminding everyone that “blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7). Carry the flame of your faith and ignite with it other flames, so that human hearts will beat to the rhythm of the Heart of Christ, which is “a flaming fire of love.” May the flame of love engulf our world and rid it of selfishness, violence and injustice, so that a civilization of good, reconciliation, love and peace will be strengthened on our earth. The prophet Isaiah tells us today “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news” (Is. 52:7). John Paul II was such a messenger – He was the initiator of World Youth Day, a friend of youth and families. And you be such messengers. Carry the good news about Jesus Christ to the world. Give testimony that it is both worth it and necessary to entrust Him with our fate. Open wide the doors of your hearts to Christ. Proclaim with conviction like Paul the Apostle, “that neither death, nor life, […] nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)
Amen!