Pope Benedict at WYD final Mass 24 August 2005

 More than a million young people attended the final Mass of World Youth day at the Marienfeld near Cologne on Sunday. Over 700,000 had stayed in the field overnight and attended a candlelit vigil there. The first candle was lit by a flame brought from the Holy Land.

The Holy Father said during his homily:

"I would very much like to have criss-crossed the entire grounds in the Papamobile, to be close to each and every one of you. That wasn't possible, though, because of the way the paths are arranged; nevertheless, I welcome each one of you with my whole heart. The Lord sees every single person."

"In vast areas of the world today there is a strange forgetfulness of God. It seems as if everything would be just the same even without him. But at the same time there is a feeling of frustration, a sense of dissatisfaction with everyone and everything. People tend to exclaim: "This cannot be what life is about!" Indeed not."

"And so, together with forgetfulness of God there is a kind of new explosion of religion. But religion constructed on a "do-it-yourself" basis cannot ultimately help us. It may be comfortable, but at times of crisis we are left to ourselves. Help people to discover the true star which points out the way to us: Jesus Christ!"

"It is good that today, in many cultures, Sunday is a free day ()Yet this free time is empty if God is not present. Dear friends! Sometimes, our initial impression is that having to include time for Mass on a Sunday is rather inconvenient. But if you make the effort, you will realize that this is what gives a proper focus to your free time. Do not be deterred from taking part in Sunday Mass, and help others to discover it too."

"Seek communion in faith, like fellow travelers who continue together to follow the path of the great pilgrimage ()The spontaneity of new communities is important, but it is also important to preserve communion with the Pope and with the Bishops. It is they who guarantee that we are not seeking private paths."

"Today there are many forms of voluntary assistance, models of mutual service, of which our society has urgent need. We must not, for example, abandon the elderly to their solitude, we must not pass by when we meet people who are suffering. If we think and live according to our communion with Christ, then our eyes will be opened. Then we will no longer be content to scrape a living just for ourselves."

"I know that you as young people have great aspirations, that you want to pledge yourselves to build a better world. Let others see this, let the world see it, since this is exactly the witness that the world expects from the disciples of Jesus Christ."

Source: WJD/ICN

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