VATICAN CITY (Zenit): Pope John Paul II made a Palm Sunday plea to youth to fearlessly go “against the current” in proclaiming the cross of Christ, the redeeming salvation for mankind.
Addressing about 30,000 pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square, the Pope began Holy Week by presiding over a long Eucharistic celebration. The occasion was also World Youth Day, which was celebrated this year at the diocesan level.
“Certainly the message that the cross communicates is not easy to understand in our time, in which material wellbeing and comfort are proposed and sought as priority values,” the Holy Father said in a clear voice.
“But you, dear young people, do not be afraid to proclaim in every circumstance the gospel of the cross. Do not be afraid to go against the current!” he exhorted.
Last Sunday’s ceremony began with the procession of palms and olives on a sunny morning and continued with the full reading of the Passion of Jesus.
On April 1 in St Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II again entrusted to young people the World Youth Day cross he gave them 20 years ago.
The cross will be taken around Germany in preparation for the next international gathering for World Youth Day in Cologne in August 2005.