Skip to comments.“Rebuild the Church of Christ!” – Francis incites 3 million youth present at Prayer Vigil
Posted on 07/28/2013 3:52:23 AM PDT by NYer
Address of Pope Francis at the 28th World Youth Day Prayer Vigil on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, July 27, 2013
Dear Young Friends,
We have just recalled the story of Saint Francis of Assisi. In front of the crucifix he heard the voice of Jesus saying to him: “Francis, go, rebuild my house.” The young Francis responded readily and generously to the Lord’s call to rebuild his house. But which house? Slowly but surely, Francis came to realize that it was not a question of repairing a stone building, but about doing his part for the life of the Church. It was a matter of being at the service of the Church, loving her and working to make the countenance of Christ shine ever more brightly in her.
Today too, as always, the Lord needs you, young people, for his Church. Today too, he is calling each of you to follow him in his Church and to be missionaries. How? In what way? Well, I think we are able to learn something from what has happened these days: how we had to move this vigil from Campus Fidei in Guaratiba because of the bad weather. Would not the Lord be willing to say to us that the real area of faith, the true campus fidei, is not a geographical place but are we that very place? Yes! Each of us, each one of you. And missionary discipleship means to recognize that we are the Campus Fidei of God! Starting with the name of the place where we are, Campus Fidei, the field of faith, I have thought of three images that can help us understand better what it means to be a disciple and a missionary. First, a field is a place for sowing seeds; second, a field is a training ground; and third, a field is a construction site.
A field is a place for sowing seeds. We all know the parable where Jesus speaks of a sower who went out to sow seeds in the field; some seed fell on the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns, and could not grow; other seed fell on good soil and brought forth much fruit (cf. Mt 13:1-9). Jesus himself explains the meaning of the parable: the seed is the word of God sown in our hearts (cf. Mt 13:18-23). This, dear young people, means that the real Campus Fidei, the field of faith, is your own heart, it is your life. It is your life that Jesus wants to enter with his word, with his presence. Please, let Christ and his word enter your life, blossom and grow.
Jesus tells us that the seed which fell on the path or on the rocky ground or among the thorns bore no fruit. What kind of ground are we? What kind of terrain do we want to be? Maybe sometimes we are like the path: we hear the Lord’s word but it changes nothing in our lives because we let ourselves be numbed by all the superficial voices competing for our attention; or we are like the rocky ground: we receive Jesus with enthusiasm, but we falter and, faced with difficulties, we don’t have the courage to swim against the tide; or we are like the thorny ground: negativity, negative feelings choke the Lord’s word in us (cf. Mt 13:18-22). But today I am sure that the seed is falling on good soil, that you want to be good soil, not part-time Christians, not “starchy” and superficial, but real. I am sure that you don’t want to be duped by a false freedom, always at the beck and call of momentary fashions and fads. I know that you are aiming high, at long-lasting decisions which will make your lives meaningful. Jesus is capable of letting you do this: he is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). Let’s trust in him. Let’s make him our guide!
A field is a training ground. Jesus asks us to follow him for life, he asks us to be his disciples, to “play on his team.” I think that most of you love sports! Here in Brazil, as in other countries, football is a national passion. Now, what do players do when they are asked to join a team? They have to train, and to train a lot! The same is true of our lives as the Lord’s disciples. Saint Paul tells us: “athletes deny themselves all sorts of things; they do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable” (1 Cor 9:25). Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup! He offers us the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; he also offers us a future with him, an endless future, eternal life. But he asks us to train, “to get in shape,” so that we can face every situation in life undaunted, bearing witness to our faith. How do we get in shape? By talking with him: by prayer, which is our daily conversation with God, who always listens to us. By the sacraments, which make his life grow within us and conform us to Christ. By loving one another, learning to listen, to understand, to forgive, to be accepting and to help others, everybody, with no one excluded or ostracized. Dear young people, be true “athletes of Christ!”
A field is a construction site. When our heart is good soil which receives the word of God, when “we build up a sweat” in trying to live as Christians, we experience something tremendous: we are never alone, we are part of a family of brothers and sisters, all journeying on the same path: we are part of the Church; indeed, we are building up the Church and we are making history. Saint Peter tells us that we are living stones, which form a spiritual edifice (cf. 1 Pet 2:5). Looking at this platform, we see that it is in the shape of a church, built up with stones and bricks. In the Church of Jesus, we ourselves are the living stones. Jesus is asking us to build up his Church, but not as a little chapel which holds only a small group of persons. He asks us to make his living Church so large that it can hold all of humanity, that it can be a home for everyone! To me, to you, to each of us he says: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Tonight, let us answer him: Yes, I too want to be a living stone; together we want to build up the Church of Jesus! Let us all say together: I want to go forth and build up the Church of Christ!
In your young hearts, you have a desire to build a better world. I have been closely following the news reports of the many young people who throughout the world and also here in Brazil who have taken to the streets in order to express their desire for a more just and fraternal society. They are young people who what to be protagonists of change. I encourage them, in an orderly, peaceful and responsible way, motivated by the values of the Gospel, to continue overcoming apathy and offering a Christian response to the social and political concerns present in their countries.
But the question remains: Where do we start? What are the criteria for building a more just society? Mother Teresa of Calcutta was once asked what needed to change in the Church. Her answer was: you and I!
Dear friends, never forget that you are the field of faith! You are Christ’s athletes! You are called to build a more beautiful Church and a better world. Let us lift our gaze to Our Lady. Mary helps us to follow Jesus, she gives us the example by her own “yes” to God: “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me as you say” (Lk 1:38). All together, let us join Mary in saying to God: let it be done to me as you say. Amen!
Thank-you for the article and the picture! Had gone to a gathering of friends of mine who are Catholic and does Bible studies on a monthly basis from September to May. We did the rosary and the sucess of the WYD was one of the prayer intentions.
Did not get to see the vigil on EWTN last night, but glad to see a picture.
Roll back the dysfunctional implementations that issued forth subsequent to the new religion creating Vatican II.
Unfortunately the entire clergy has been larded with the proponents and adherents to the modernism that is rampant throughout Christ’s Church.
Told her to just put it in her purse...and when she needs God...like a good father, remember he is always there.
I like the headline, “Pope Francis ‘incites’ ...”.
I'm beginning to think that newspaper editors can't be trusted.
According to the link, this is from the official WYD site.
Anyway, I was serious: it’s a good, strong action verb.
Christ builds His church.
“Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
“The Church Which Christ Builds” by J.C. Ryle
What Every Catholic Should Know
3 million pack Copacabana beach for Mass with Pope
“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43)
Could we pay you to stop spamming just about every Catholic thread? I know we have the choice to ignore it and all that, but right now, I’ve got so much Unnngh in my life that it would be worth cash to me to avoid this.
Yes, rebuild the church.
I’m reading a book about Mother Angelica. To ensure that all her programming was OK, she had her nuns read all of Vatican II. To everyone’s amazement, Vatican II still endorsed the Latin Mass and Gregorian chant. So, she changed her programming to reflect that.
What Every Protestant Should Know
I cannot read your mind, but if you recoil against Scripture that should tell you something. His Word is a sword. If your peace of mind is disturbed it is the objective truth of his Word that indicts and disturbs you, not me. Think about it for a minute. I merely posted the words of Christ and a link. You don’t have read anything that is linked.
Catholics jump into the few Protestant threads that are posted but we are to idly by as Catholics post scores of new threads every week? Christians are to be Bereans. I’m not afraid to compare what any man teaches about God to the Word of God to see if what he says is true. Bergoglio isn’t above the very Word of God. Where his teaching doesn’t agree with Scripture someone must point it out lest unsuspecting sinners be led astray.
Jude teaches Christians to “contend earnestly for the faith.” I would never post a word about the Roman religion here if there weren’t post after post every single day about Bergoglio and all things Catholic. I don’t want to talk about it or think about it, but someone must stand in the gap and “contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” If you know more than I know, ignore my comments. Others may not know what you know, so I am commenting for their benefit. If you are wiling to entrust your soul to Rome and her gospel, then by all means pretend I’m not here. Others aren’t as willing to trust Rome. Perhaps you and the other devout Catholics here will never benefit from a word I say, but we have no idea who is reading what is said here. I know that God’s Word always accomplishes His purposes.”
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)