If we get the Pope correctly in his homily, at the mass he celebrated last Sunday, he wants young people to live a simple but highly spiritual life and not to be so obsessed with materialism. He inspires young people to be agent of change as “the world needs renewal.”
He admonished today’s young people to give a proper balance between material prosperity and spiritual growth as this is the only way to experience real happiness. The pontiff also cautioned young people not to jeopardize their lives on “spiritual desert of interior emptiness, unnamed fear, and a quite sense of despair.
All the 81-year-old pontiff expects the young people to be is to embrace the power of God and to get rid of indifference, spiritual weariness and blind conformity to the pressures of this highly materialistic world.
Pope urges youth to spurn materialism
By KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press Writer
SYDNEY, Australia – Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday a “spiritual desert” was spreading throughout the world and he challenged young people to shed the greed and cynicism of their time to create a new age of hope for humankind.
Speaking before some 350,000 Roman Catholic pilgrims and a likely television audience of millions more, Benedict urged the young in his more than 1 billion-strong flock to be agents of change because, “the world needs renewal.”
“In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair,” the pontiff said.
The 81-year-old pope said it was up to a new generation of Christians to build a world in “which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished — not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed.”
They must embrace the power of God “to let it break through the curse of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age,” he said.
The aim was “a new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deadens our souls and poisons our relationships,” he said.
Sunday’s Mass wrapped up the church’s six-day World Youth Day festival in Sydney that has drawn massive crowds of pilgrims to Australia’s largest city and has been watched on television by a global audience estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.
The Mass came a day after the pope made a forceful apology for the sexual abuse of children by Australia‘s Roman Catholic clergy, keeping up efforts begun in the United States to publicly atone for what he called evil acts by priests.
The Mass was delivered at a horse racetrack filled with pilgrims who had camped out overnight.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said 350,000 attended Sunday’s Mass. Australian organizers surmised a global television audience of up to 500 million during big World Youth Day events.
The pope flew over the scene early Sunday in a helicopter — dubbed “the holy-copter” by bleary-eyed pilgrims below — to see the assemblage swarmed all over the track in a jumble of sleeping bags, backpacks and other personal items.
He later took a slow drive through the crowd, stopping once to plant a kiss on the forehead of a toddler held up to the popemobile’s window. Pilgrims from more than 160 countries gave him a rock-star welcome, waving the flags of their nations, cheering and chanting: “Benedicto! Benedicto!” — the pope’s Italian name.
The pope was due to leave Australia for the Vatican on Monday. He announced that Madrid, Spain, would host the next World Youth Day in 2011 and told the pilgrims: “I look forward to seeing you again in three years’ time.”
Benedict, who shrugged off the effects of a longer-than 20-hour flight from Rome and kept a hectic schedule during his time in Australia, coughed a couple of times during Sunday’s Mass and at one point blew his nose, prompting reporters to ask about his health.
“It was chilly, and everybody felt it, no?” Lombardi said. “But he is in fine health.”
Bilang pinakamataas na pastor ng mga Katoliko, nais ni Santo Papa na magbago ang mga tao. Huwag masyadong mahumaling sa mga material na bagay ngunit bigyan puwang sa kanilang mga puso ang salita ng Diyos. At sabi nga ng mahal na Papa na kailangan ng tao ang magpasailalim ng kapangyarihan ng Diyos upang ganap niyang maunawaan kung ano talaga ang mahalaga sa buhay. Ang kapayapaan ng kalooban at tibay ng pananampalataya sa Diyos ay ang siyang tunay na kaligayahan ng isang tao.
Napakaganda ang mga salitang binitawan ng Santo Papa, at talaga namang natumbok niya ang ugat ng mga kahinaan at kawalan ng pag-asa ng mga tao sa sandaigdigan.
Ngunit ano mang ganda ang mga salitang binitawan ng Papa sa kanyang mensahe para sa lahat ng mga kabataang Katoliko, hindi pa rin maipagkakaila ang kanyang tunay na pakay sa pagpunta sa Austriala. Gusto ng Santo Papa na paghilumin ang sugat na dulot ng mga kaparian sa pagsasamantala at panga-api sa mga kabataan. At talaga namang nabahiran ng malaki ang dignidad ng mga kaparian, at pati na rin ang simbahan ay naapektohan, sa mga kaso ng sexual na pagsasamantala at pangmomolestia ng ilang masasamang alagad ng simbahan sa mga kabataan.
Ngunit ang matindi sa lahat ay ang ginawang pagsasamantala ng mga masasamang elemento ng kaparian sa mga kababaihan na nauwi sa pagbubuntis ng mga ito. Bagamat ang ilan sa kanila ay hindi pinabayaan, nagamit naman ang mga pera ng simbahan sa pagsuporta sa mga anak ng pari sa labas.
Sa parteng ito hindi mo rin maiaalis kay Juan dela Cruz ang magtanong; bakit sa sexual na pakikipagrelasyon ng isang pari sa isang “anakable” gumamit din kaya si father ng condom o kaya pinagpipills din niya ang kanyang girlfriend? Ngunit astig din ang iba sa kanila, kahit sa immoral na gawain ay di pa rin nila naiwawaksi ang kanilang paninindigan sa no to artificial method of birth control. Kahit pa may lumabas na bata sa likuran ng kanilang pagtataksil sa tungkulin at maging sa pagsuway ng batas ng Diyos; tuloy pa rin ba ang paninindigan nila kontra sa family planning. Kaya nakakantiawan tuloy sila—bata bata paano ka ginawa ng iyong pari na papa?