The Church has Confidence in Young People
There is an urgent need in the world today to listen to, and enhance, the important role of new generations in the realisation of the common good, and in the affirmation of a just and peaceful social order where fundamental human rights can be fully expressed and realised.
This is according to Pope Benedict XVI who has chosen as the theme for the celebration of the 45th World Day of Peace of January 1, 2012, Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.
Pope Benedict XVI has stated in his theme that the present generation has a duty to prepare future ones, and creating for them the conditions that will allow them to express freely and responsibly the urgency for a “new world.” The Church welcomes young people and sees them as the sign of an ever-promising springtime, and holds out Jesus to them as the model of love who “makes all things new.”
The Pope explained that those responsible for public policy are called to work for the creation of institutions, laws and environments of life that are permeated by a transcendent humanism that offers new generations opportunities to fully realise themselves through, for example, work and education, and to build a civilisation of fraternal love directed toward a more profound awareness of truth, freedom, of love and of justice for all persons.
The Pope stated that the family, educational institutions, political leaders and the media have a role to play in the education of young people.
“Education … calls for responsibility on the part of the learners, who must be open to being led to the knowledge of reality, and on the part of educators, who must be ready to give of themselves. For this reason, today more than ever we need authentic witnesses, and not simply people who parcel out rules and facts. A witness is someone who first lives the life that he proposes to others,” said the Pope.
“It is in the family that children learn the human and Christian values which enable them to have a constructive and peaceful coexistence. It is in the family that they learn solidarity between the generations, respect for rules, forgiveness and how to welcome others. The family is the first school in which we are trained in justice and peace,” he said.
The Pope urged young people not to yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon themselves to false solutions that 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. Realise 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-centred but work for a brighter future for all,” he said, and reiterated that young people 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,” he stated.
by Ann Marie Foley