In 1999, when Saint John Paul II visited Saint Louis, he addressed the young people in his short time there. Twenty years later, his message still rings true, especially now. Tonight, we gathered to prepare our minds and hearts to be a witness to the lives of the unborn by participating in the March for Life tomorrow.
Training for the Christian Life
We took time tonight to watch a short video of Saint John Paul II’s message during his visit to Saint Louis. He asked the young people, “What training are you doing in order to truly live a Christian life?” This training makes it possible for us to give ourselves fully to the Lord in order to do the work that He asks of us. This training should have two goals: to follow Christ and proclaim His message.
As Saint John Paul II addressed the young people in 1999, his words were just as relevant tonight in 2019. Tomorrow, thousands of young people will gather in the streets of Washington D.C. to witness to the lives of the unborn. So, how do we train for something like this? Saint John Paul II encouraged his audience to make Sunday Mass an obligation, frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to share their talents within the Church. As youth, this is a crucial time in your “training.” And as Christians, our training does not have an end point, we will always be training.
Let Your Light Shine!
Saint John Paul II spoke into the hearts of the young people as he said, “He wants you – all of you – to be the light of the world, as only young people can be the light. It is time to let your light shine!” While many of us will serve God through different vocations, we are all called to be light to the world. But we cannot share Jesus’ light unless we are one with Him, united in prayer. In prayer, we become one with the source of our true light, Jesus himself. Saint John Paul II urged the young people to reflect the light of Christ “through your lives of prayer and joyful service of others.”
Proclaim the Gospel of Life
We took some time during adoration tonight to reflect on Saint John Paul II’s message. We are here to witness to our pro-life beliefs as Catholics and to bring the light of life into the world. Not just today and tomorrow, but in our everyday lives, the choices that we make, the way we treat others, and the way we use our gifts. The Lord has graciously given us so many gifts as young people, and we need to share these as a generation of life! This is your time to shine, for Jesus said: “I am the light of the world; those who follow Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
To get the full audio and text from St. John Paul II’s speech, head to this link: https://reapteam.org/john-paul-two/
“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” (1 Tim 4:12)
“Only if you are one with Jesus can you share His light and be a light to the world.”
“Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you and he expects great things of you!”