Panama (Agenzia Fides) - Pope Francis celebrated the closing Mass for the 34th World Youth Day in Panama City’s Metro Park on Sunday morning January 27. The theme for WYD was: "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word".
To the approximately 700,000 youth from around the world gathered around the altar, the Pope strongly recalled that "life is today": "You, dear young people, are not the future. No, you are the present. You are not the future of God, you young people are the now of God! May you feel that you have a mission, may you fall in love; the Lord will decide everything". He therefore continued:"For Jesus, there is no “meantime”, but only a merciful love that wants to enter into and win over our hearts. He wants to be our treasure, because Jesus is not a “meantime”, an interval in life or a passing fad; he is generous love that invites us to entrust ourselves... the Lord and his mission are not a “meantime” in our life, something temporary, they are not only a World Day of Youth: they are our life today, our life of journeying ahead!"
In his homily Pope Francis commented on the Gospel passage of the beginning of the public mission of Jesus, with these words: "Jesus reveals the now of God, who comes to meet us and call us to take part in his now... it becomes present with Jesus: it has a face, it is flesh. It is a merciful love that does not wait for ideal or perfect situations to show itself, nor does it accept excuses for its appearance. It is God’s time, that makes every situation and place both right and proper. In Jesus, the promised future begins and becomes life".
Therefore the Pope pointed out that we too today "do not always believe that God can be that concrete and commonplace, that close and real, and much less that he can become so present and work through somebody like a neighbour, a friend, a relative. We do not always believe that the Lord can invite us to work and soil our hands with him in his Kingdom". "Often we too behave like the neighbours in Nazareth: we prefer a distant God: nice, good, generous, well depicted, yet far-off, and above all a God who does not inconvenience us, a “domesticated” God. Because a close and everyday God, a God who is friend and brother, demands that we be concerned with our surroundings, everyday affairs and above all fraternity".
Addressing the young people, the Pope urged them to "live the now of God", without feeling you are in a "waiting room", waiting for their turn while "meanwhile" they invent, or someone invents for them, "a hygienically sealed future and without consequences", where joy is only a make-believe.
Finally he invited us to look at Maria, whose "fiat" has been whispering "like a kind of music in the background": "She not only believed in God and in his promises as something possible, she believed God himself and dared to say “yes” to taking part in this now of the Lord. She felt she had a mission; she fell in love and that decided everything. May you feel that you have a mission, may you fall in love; the Lord will decide everything". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 28/1/2019)