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Address to Young People in Blonie Park

5/30/2006 - 6:00 AM PST

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"Do Not Be Afraid to Lean on Christ"

KRAKOW, Poland, MAY 30, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered Saturday to close to 1 million young people gathered in Blonie Park.

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Dear Young Friends,

I offer all of you my warmest welcome! Your presence makes me happy. I thank the Lord for this cordial meeting. We know that "where two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, he is in their midst" (cf. Matthew 18:20). Today, you are much more numerous! Accordingly, Jesus is here with us. He is present among the young people of Poland, speaking to them of a house that will never collapse because it is built on the rock. This is the Gospel that we have just heard (cf. Matthew 7:24-27).

My friends, in the heart of every man there is the desire for a house. Even more so in the young person's heart there is a great longing for a proper house, a stable house, one to which he cannot only return with joy, but where every guest who arrives can be joyfully welcomed. There is a yearning for a house where the daily bread is love, pardon and understanding.

It is a place where the truth is the source out of which flows peace of heart. There is a longing for a house you can be proud of, where you need not be ashamed and where you never fear its loss. These longings are simply the desire for a full, happy and successful life. Do not be afraid of this desire! Do not run away from this desire! Do not be discouraged at the sight of crumbling houses, frustrated desires and faded longings. God the Creator, who inspires in young hearts an immense yearning for happiness, will not abandon you in the difficult construction of the house called life.

My friends, this brings about a question: "How do we build this house?" Without doubt, this is a question that you have already faced many times and that you will face many times more. Every day you must look into your heart and ask: "How do I build that house called life?" Jesus, whose words we just heard in the passage from the Evangelist Matthew, encourages us to build on the rock. In fact, it is only in this way that the house will not crumble.

But what does it mean to build a house on the rock?

Building on the rock means, first of all, to build on Christ and with Christ. Jesus says: "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock" (Matthew 7:24). These are not just the empty words of some person or another; these are the words of Jesus. We are not listening to any person: We are listening to Jesus. We are not asked to commit to just anything; we are asked to commit ourselves to the words of Jesus. To build on Christ and with Christ means to build on a foundation that is called "crucified love."

It means to build with Someone who, knowing us better than we know ourselves, says to us: "You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you" (Isaiah 43:4).

It means to build with Someone, who is always faithful, even when we are lacking in faith, because he cannot deny himself (cf. 2 Timothy 2:13).

It means to build with Someone who constantly looks down on the wounded heart of man and says: "I do not condemn you, go and do not sin again" (cf. John 8:11).

It means to build with Someone who, from the cross, extends his arms and repeats for all eternity: "O man, I give my life for you because I love you."

In short, building on Christ means basing all your desires, aspirations, dreams, ambitions and plans on his will. It means saying to yourself, to your family, to your friends, to the whole world and, above all to Christ: "Lord, in life I wish to do nothing against you, because you know what is best for me. Only you have the words of eternal life" (cf. John 6:68). My friends, do not be afraid to lean on Christ! Long for Christ, as the foundation of your life! Enkindle within you the desire to build your life on him and for him! Because no one who depends on the crucified love of the Incarnate Word can ever lose.

To build on the rock means to build on Christ and with Christ, who is the rock. In the First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul, speaking of the journey of the chosen people through the desert, explains that all "drank from the supernatural rock, which followed them, and the rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). The fathers of the Chosen People certainly did not know that the rock was Christ. They were not aware of being accompanied by him who in the fullness of time would become incarnate and take on a human body. They did not need to understand that their thirst would be satiated by the very Source of life, capable of offering the living water which quenches every heart.

Nonetheless, they drank from this spiritual rock that is Christ, because they yearned for this living water, and needed it. On the road of ...

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