Owerri (Agenzia Fides) - "It is truly with joy that I begin my pastoral visit here in Owerri by meeting you, dear and beloved young people, who are the hope of the Church, the ultimate heirs of the evangelization of those who one hundred years ago gave their lives to the Lord to announce the Gospel in this blessed land ": with these words Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, began his homily during the Mass for the young people which he presided this morning November 7, in Owerri, at the beginning of his pastoral visit in this Nigerian Ecclesiastical Province, to conclude the celebrations for the centenary of the Evangelization (see Fides 05/11/2012; 06/11/2012).
After commenting on the Gospel of Jesus' prayer to the Father (Mt 11,25-30), proclaimed in the liturgy of the day, Cardinal Filoni invited the young people to reflect on what meaning these words can have for them today. "Whenever we feel full of admiration for all the good things that God has created, we are the little ones of which Jesus speaks" the Cardinal said. "Every time in our lives that we recognize that we need God and that our life is empty without his presence, then we are the little ones for whom Jesus rejoices! Let us with simplicity accept Jesus as our companion in the journey of our life; at school, at home, on the road... ". Another point stressed by the Prefect of the Congregation concerns prayer:" It is important that we learn to pray as Jesus prays... Jesus teaches us that when we pray to the Father in Heaven we should thank him and then end our prayer by praying not only for our needs but also for the needs of those people who are around us so that we could be able to become ourselves gifts for others."
"The words with which Jesus concludes his prayer - 'Come unto me, all you whoare weary and burdened, and I will give you rest' – are addressed to the crowd, but they are also addressed to us," the Cardinal continued, urging young people to invite the Lord Jesus "to come and stay with us," and concluded: "It is wonderful to know that always, and I say again, in any situation in our life, we can go to Jesus, we can turn to Him, knowing that he will never abandon us." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 07/11/2012)