From the Vatican:
Thousands of young people are gathered in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, for the annual “Mladifest” International Youth Festival taking place from 1 to 6 August this year.
The calendar of events include liturgies, prayer vigils, processions, adoration, testimonies, as well as concerts and dance, as a time to renew and animate the spiritual life of young people.
Trust in Jesus
Pope Francis sent a message to the young people read out by Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, the Apostolic Visitor for the Parish of Medjugorje.
Recalling the theme for this year’s celebrations, “Learn from me and you will find peace” (Mt 11: 28-30), the Pope said Jesus addresses these words to all people who are weary and oppressed as He understands how tough life can be with its wounds, burdens, injustices, and worries we carry in our hearts.
Jesus’ message to us all is to put our trust and reliance on Him, the Pope said, something that is often not easy since we tend to close in on ourselves during dark times, whereas the way out is opening our hearts to Jesus, “the One who truly loves us.”
Love for one another
As Jesus says, noted the Pope, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” So he encouraged the young people to become Jesus’ disciples and heirs of His promise of peace.
By doing so, they will discover God’s will for them, and the “yoke” of which Jesus speaks is the law of love, he explained, the commandment he left to his disciples: love one another, as I have loved you (Jn. 15:12), for the true remedy for humanity’s wounds is a way of life based on love for one another that has its roots in the love of God.
Courage to be humble
The Pope noted that by walking together with Jesus and following His example, we can learn from Him. And Jesus is a Master who does not impose burdens on others that He does not carry, as He reaches out to the humble and poor as He Himself became poor and humble.
This means we must also be humble and recognize our own ignorance and pride that have us believe we can do everything on our own strength, the Pope pointed out, while it takes courage to do otherwise, opening our hearts, eyes, and ears to following and imitating the Lord.
True rest and peace
The Pope called on the young people to not be afraid to bear all they carry in their hearts to Jesus, who can offer them true rest and peace.
He called on them to follow the example of the Blessed Mother who will lead them to Jesus and help them grow in compassion for one another as we become more fully aware that we are called to be children of God, brothers and sisters to each other.
The loving care of Mary
In conclusion, the Pope entrusted them to the loving care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our heaveny Mother, “so that, through her intercession and by her example, you may take upon yourselves the gentle and light yoke of following Christ. May the gaze of God the Father, who loves you personally, accompany you every day, so that, in your relationships with others, you may be witnesses of the peace you will receive as a gift.”