HOLY MASS FOR THE HANDING OVER OF THE WYD CROSS
Saint Peter's Basilica
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - Sunday, 22 November 2020
We have just heard the page of the Matthew’s Gospel that comes immediately before the account of Christ’s Passion. Before pouring out his love for us on the cross, Jesus shares his final wishes. He tells us that the good we do to one of our least brothers and sisters – whether hungry or thirsty, a stranger, in need, sick or in prison – we do to him (cf. Mt 25:37-40). In this way, the Lord gives us his “gift list” for the eternal wedding feast he will share with us in heaven.
Those gifts are the works of mercy that make our life eternal. Each of us can ask: Do I put these works into practice? Do I do anything for someone in need? Or do I do good only for my loved ones and my friends? Do I help someone who cannot give anything back to me? Am I the friend of a poor person? ... “There I am”, Jesus says to you, “I am waiting for you there, where you least think and perhaps may not even want to look: there, in the poor”. I am there, where the prevailing mentality, according to which life is good if it is good for me, least expects me to be. I am there. Jesus also says these words to you, young people, as you strive to realize your dreams in life.
I am there
Jesus spoke these words centuries ago, to a young soldier. He was eighteen years old and not yet baptized. One day he saw a poor man who was begging people for help but received none, since “everyone walked by”. That young man, “seeing that others were not moved to compassion, understood that the poor person was there for him. Yet he had nothing on him, only his uniform.
He cut his cloak in two and gave half to the poor person, and was met with mocking laughter from some of the bystanders. The following night he had a dream: he saw Jesus, wearing the half of the cloak he had wrapped around the poor person, and he heard him say: ‘Martin, you covered me with this cloak’”. Saint Martin was that young man. He had that dream because, without knowing it, he had acted like the righteous in today’s Gospel.
Dear young people, dear brothers and sisters, let us not give up on great dreams. Let us not settle only for what is necessary. The Lord does not want us to narrow our horizons or to remain parked on the roadside of life. He wants us to race boldly and joyfully towards lofty goals. We were not created to dream about vacations or the weekend, but to make God’s dreams come true in this world.
Yet how do we begin to make great dreams come true? With great choices.... If we choose to spend hours on a cell phone, we become addicted. Yet if we choose God, daily we grow in his love, and if we choose to love others, we find true happiness. Because the beauty of our choices depends on love. Remember this because it is true: the beauty of our choices depends on love. Jesus knows that if we are self-absorbed and indifferent, we remain paralyzed, but if we give ourselves to others, we become free. The Lord of life wants us to be full of life, and he tells us the secret of life: we come to possess it only by giving it away. This is a rule of life: we come to possess life, now and in eternity, only by giving it away.
Not only doubts and questions can undermine great and generous choices, but many other obstacles as well every day. Feverish consumerism can overwhelm our hearts with superfluous things. An obsession with pleasure may seem the only way to escape problems, yet it simply postpones them. A fixation with our rights can lead us to neglect our responsibilities to others. ...
Choosing life means resisting the “throwaway culture” and the desire to have “everything now”, in order to direct our lives towards the goal of heaven, towards God’s dreams. To choose life is to live, and we were born to live, not just get by. A young man like yourselves, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, said this: “I want to live, not just get by”. ...
That is the choice we have to make daily:Let us look to Jesus and ask him for the courage to choose what is best for us, to enable us to follow him in the way of love. And in this way to discover joy. To live, and not just get by. ...
That is the choice we have to make daily. .... Let us look to Jesus and ask him for the courage to choose what is best for us, to enable us to follow him in the way of love. And in this way to discover joy. To live, and not just get by.
Passage of the Cross
A special greeting goes to the Panamanian and Portuguese young people, represented by the two delegations that will shortly take part in the significant ceremony of the passage of the Cross and the icon of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani, the symbols of the World Youth Days. This is an important step in the pilgrimage that will lead us to Lisbon in 2023.
And as we prepare for the next intercontinental edition of WYD, I would also like to renew its celebration in the local Churches. I have decided, beginning next year, to transfer the diocesan celebration of WYD from Palm Sunday to Christ the King Sunday. The centre of the celebration remains the Mystery of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Man, as Saint John Paul II, the initiator and patron of WYD, always emphasized.
Dear young people, cry out with your life that Christ lives, that Christ reigns, that Christ is the Lord! If you keep silent, I tell you the very stones will cry out! (cf. Lk 19:40).
To read the full homily Click Here