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Christianity means personal encounter with Christ, Pope writes in World Youth Day message

March 16, 2010

In his message of the 25th observance of World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI challenges young people to become aware "of the gifts that God has lavished on you, and of your responsibilities."

"Christianity is not primarily an ethic, but an experience of Jesus Christ Who loves us personally, young and old, poor and rich," the Pope writes in his message, which is centered on the Gospel story of the rich young man and his question: "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" The Pontiff asks young people to reflect on their lives and see what is lacking. "To discover the life plan that can make you fully happy, listen to God, Who has a plan of love for each one of you," he writes. He adds that the world needs the work and the witness of dedicated young Christians to answer the problems of coming years.

World Youth Day is observed in dioceses all around the world on Palm Sunday, which will fall this year on March 28. The Pope's message was released by the Vatican on March 16.


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