“You are the Now of God”
The 34th World Youth Day 2019 concluded on Sunday 27th before 700,000 people at the Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park (Panama City, Panama), with Holy Mass presided by Pope Francis. The Holy Father gave his homily based on a theme from the Sunday’s Gospel: “The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them: ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Lk 4:20-21).
The Pope explained that the “today” Jesus is referring, was not 2,000 years ago, but is still true today, our “now”. “Jesus reveals the now of God”. “In Jesus, the promised future begins and becomes life”. Unfortunately, “we do not always believe that God can be that concrete and commonplace, that close and real… [because] a close and everyday God, a friend and brother, demands that we be concerned with our surroundings…God is real because love is real”.
All of us can experience the danger of living in “a kind of waiting room, sitting around until we are called”. Both adults and young people risk thinking “your Now has not yet come…. that you are too young to be involved in dreaming about and working for the future”. He stressed that we need one another “to encourage dreaming of and working for tomorrow, starting today… Not tomorrow but now… Realize that you have a mission and fall in love….We may possess everything, but if we lack the passion of love, we will have nothing”.
The Holy Father explained that for Jesus there is no ‘meantime’: “He is not an interval in life or a passing fad. He is generous love that invites us to entrust ourselves”. He exhorted all young people not to be “paralyzed [by] fear and exclusion, speculation and manipulation [but rather, to recognise the] concrete, close, real love” of Jesus. The Lord and His mission are not “something temporary, they are our life”.
He reminded us all that we “are on a journey…. Keep walking, keep living the faith and sharing it”. So, do not forget, he said, that “you are not the tomorrow, you are not the ‘meantime’, you are the Now of God”.
At the conclusion it was announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022.