244 Fifth Avenue
“Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith”
I often think back on the World Youth Day held
in Sydney in 2008. There we had
an experience of a great festival of faith in which the Spirit of God was actively at
work, building deep communion among the participants who had come from all over
the world. That gathering, like those on previous occasions, bore rich fruit in the lives
of many young people and in the life of the whole Church. Now we are looking forward
to the next World Youth Day, to be held in Madrid in August 2011.
Back in 1989, several months before the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, this pilgrimage
of young people halted in Spain, in Santiago de Compostela. Now, at a time when
Europe greatly needs to rediscover its Christian roots, our meeting will take place in
Madrid with the theme: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf. Col 2:7).
I encourage you to take part in this event, which is so important for the Church in Europe
and for the universal Church. I would like all young people – those who share our
faith in Jesus Christ, but also those who are wavering or uncertain, or who do not
believe in him – to share this experience, which can prove decisive for their lives.
It is an experience of the Lord Jesus, risen and alive, and of his love for each of us.
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