CNS | WORLD YOUTH DAY 2013
This is a banner ad for World Youth Day to be held in Rio de Janeiro July 23-28. Pope Benedict will attend the international Catholic youth gathering.
VATICAN CITY – When young Catholics from around the world gather in Rio de Janeiro in July, they will be under the gaze of the city's famous statue of Christ with outstretched arms, a reminder of his desire to embrace all people, Pope Benedict said.
In his message for World Youth Day 2013, the pope asked young people to welcome Christ's embrace and share with others the joy of being loved by him.
In preparation for the global youth gathering July 23-28, he asked young Catholics to begin sharing their faith with others.
"We are links in a great chain of men and women who have transmitted the truth of the faith and who depend on us to pass it on to others," he said.
The theme of World Youth Day 2013 is: Go and Make Disciples of All Nations.
The pope said, "Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good and have a hard time finding their way."
Faith helps people see that "every human life is priceless, because each of us is the fruit of God's love," he said. "God loves everyone, even those who have fallen away from him or disregard him."
As the Catholics most impacted by globalization and new technology, Pope Benedict said, young people need a special awareness and have special responsibilities in those areas.
"Technical advances have given us unprecedented possibilities for interaction between peoples and nations.
"But the globalization of these relationships will be positive and help the world to grow in humanity only if it is founded on love rather than on materialism.
"Love is the only thing that can fill hearts and bring people together," he said.
Pope Benedict also told the young people that the responsibility to share the faith flows from their Baptism, is sustained by prayer, nourished by receiving the Eucharist, purified through Confession and strengthened by Confirmation.
"If you are to remain firm in professing the Christian faith wherever you are sent, you need the Church," he said. "No one can bear witness to the Gospel alone."