Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on January 1, the Holy Day of Mary, Mother of God, focused on the importance of educating the youth. Each year, the Pope sets aside this feast day to focus on world peace. As a global community, the Pope reminds us we are waiting, like the author of Psalm 30, for the dawn of great peace. The world is struggling through a time of insecurity. Violent conflicts and economic insecurity touch, and sometimes infect, every continent on the planet. Despite the woes of 2011, the Pope asks us look to the new year with “an attitude of confident trust.” As an example, he asks the church to look to exuberance and optimism of the youth. He acknowledges the critical role the young people have in the attainment of global peace. He writes:
“Dear young people, you are a precious gift for society. Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm.
Realize that you yourselves are an example and an inspiration to adults, even more so to the extent that you seek to overcome injustice and corruption and strive to build a better future. Be aware of your potential; never become self-centered but work for a brighter future for all. You are never alone. The Church has confidence in you, follows you, encourages you and wishes to offer you the most precious gift she has: the opportunity to raise your eyes to God, to encounter Jesus Christ, who is himself justice and peace.”
The young church, and in particular Father Ryan students, have always been a tremendous blessing. In this new year, through their devotion to faith, may we look to them as a source of peace and hope. For full transcript of the Pope’s message please click on the following link: