Skip to comments.Pope to Asian youth: Are you ready to say 'yes' to Christ?
Posted on 08/15/2014 1:53:20 PM PDT by NYer
.- In an Aug. 15 meeting with Asian youth, Pope Francis emphasized the need to respond joyfully to God’s call in order to carry the hope of Christ to a world that desperately needs it.
“Dear young friends, in this generation the Lord is counting on you!” he told throngs of young people from across the Asian continent. “Are you ready to say ‘yes’ to him? Are you ready?”
“Just as the Lord made his glory shine forth in the heroic witness of the martyrs, so too he wants to make his glory shine in your lives, and through you, to light up the life of this vast continent,” the Pope encouraged.
“He calls you to rise, to be wide awake and alert, and to see the things in life that really matter. What is more, he is asking you to go out on the highways and byways of this world, knocking on the doors of other people’s hearts, inviting them to welcome him into their lives.”
Pope Francis spoke to a gathering of young people at Solmoe Shrine, birthplace of the first Korean-born priest, St. Andrew Kim Taegon, who was martyred in the 1800s. The gathering was part of his Aug. 13-18 visit to South Korea, which coincides with the Sixth Asian Youth Day.
The Pope thanked the young people for their joy and enthusiasm, as well as for the testimonies, hopes and challenges that some of the individuals presented to him at the meeting.
“This great gathering of Asian young people also allows us to see something of what the Church herself is meant to be in God’s eternal plan,” he said. “Together with young people everywhere, you want to help build a world where we all live together in peace and friendship, overcoming barriers, healing divisions, rejecting violence and prejudice.”
God intends the Church to be “a seed of unity for the whole human family,” the Holy Father explained. “In Christ, all nations and peoples are called to a unity which does not destroy diversity but acknowledges, reconciles and enriches it.”
But when we look at the world today, and even when we examine our own hearts, we see selfishness, injustice and hostility, he said, pointing to the problems of poverty and “an idolatry of wealth, power and pleasure which come at a high cost to human lives,” as well as “spiritual poverty, loneliness and quiet despair.”
“God seems to be removed from the picture. It is almost as though a spiritual desert is beginning to spread throughout our world,” he lamented. “It affects the young too, robbing them of hope and even, in all too many cases, of life itself.”
“Yet this is the world into which you are called to go forth and bear witness to the Gospel of hope, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the promise of his Kingdom.”
While the situation of the world may seem hopeless, the pontiff said, we know that Christ has conquered death, and that “his word has the power to touch every heart, to conquer evil with good, and to change and redeem the world.”
It is only the love of Christ that “can bring new life to every human heart and can transform every situation, even the most apparently hopeless,” he continued, explaining that this is the message which young people must share with those around them at school, work, and in their families and communities.
“He entered your hearts on the day of your Baptism; he gave you his Spirit on the day of your Confirmation; and he strengthens you constantly by his presence in the Eucharist, so that you can be his witnesses before the world.”
Two-thirds of the way through his prepared remarks, the Pope announced that he wished to speak to the young people spontaneously and from the heart, but was not comfortable doing so in English. Encouraged by the eager applause of those present, he set aside his text and began speaking in Italian.
He responded to a question posed by one of the young women present about whether she should continue on a path of education or return home to her family. Pope Francis said that when the Lord calls us, he always calls us to honor him, whether it is through ordained ministry or marriage.
“You don’t choose the road you take. God chooses for you,” he said, explaining that it is simply our role to listen to which path God is calling us to take.
He invited the young people to pray with him three times, “Lord, what do you want from me?”
The Pope also addressed a question posed by another participant about the lack of saints and martyrs from Cambodia. He assured the young woman that the country has many saints, but said that the Church has not officially recognized them through the process of canonization. He was met with enthusiastic applause as he promised that upon returning to Italy, he would ask the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints to look into the matter.
In addition, he touched on the temptations of materialism, emphasizing that if you try to buy happiness, you will find that it is only an illusion. The happiness of love is the only joy that will last, he said.
The Holy Father concluded the two-hour gathering by giving the young people his blessing and asking them to pray for him.
Once again, Pope Francis delivered his message in English, apologizing for his poor pronunciation. He even ad libbed, adding some personal comments. At the conclusion, he asked permission to switch to Italian so as to better address some of their questions. The youth embraced the pope with their love and prayers.
The Chinese government is still terrified of Christianity going all the way back to the Taiping rebellion, perhaps the second bloodiest conflict in human history. Something which had nothing to do with Christianity, but for which Christianity has been blamed.
The short version was that Christian missionaries gave a missionary tract to the wrong guy. He read it, then said the equivalent of “This Jesus Christ, I am his younger brother.” And he happened to be one of the most charismatic people in Chinese history. Before all was said and done, the British estimate was that at least 30 million Chinese were slaughtered in a civil war that lasted 14 years.
Most Americans have never heard of it, because it took place at about the same time as the US Civil War, and we had our minds on other things.
And are you ready to try to earn your salvation by participating in the Sacraments?. The Catholic Church doesn’t know how many points it takes to get there, but it’s a lot, and real hard when you are constantly losing points and going in the wrong direction. So good luck.
When the young man asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus first tries to draw the young man to faith in Him as God by saying only God is “good”. But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He tells the young man to “obey the commandments”. The young man can’t “earn” his salvation, but actions, the results of cooperation with Grace, are necessary. When the woman at the well asked Jesus for the Holy Spirit, He didn’t say, “Make an act of faith in me,” he said “Go get your husband.” Jesus was saying the woman’s actions, her multiple marriages and shacking up with a man outside of marriage made her unfit for the Holy Spirit . He was trying to get her to reform her sinful actions. We don’t “earn” our salvation, it is the ongoing conforming of our life to God’s Will by the gift of His Grace. Jesus tells us that only those who persevere to the end will be saved. He also tells us that many will not be strong enough to be saved. Paul talks about the possibility of his being lost after having preached to others. He tells us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Why are there these sayings about salvation being a difficult thing if it’s only a matter of one act of faith?