(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis presiding over a Jubilee Mass for Teens in St Peter's Square on Sunday told them "the true friends of Jesus stand out essentially by the genuine love that shines forth in their way of life." He also told the 13 to 16 year olds that although love is the path to happiness, it is not an easy one and requires effort. He also said, happiness has no price. "It cannot be bought: it is not an app that you can download on your phones nor will the latest update bring you freedom and grandeur in love."
Below find Pope Francis' homily during Sunday's Jubilee Mass for Teens
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).
Dear young friends, what an enormous responsibility the Lord gives us today! He tells us that the world will recognize the disciples of Jesus by the way they love one another. Love, in other words, is the Christian’s identity card, the only valid “document” identifying us as Christians. If this card expires and is not constantly renewed, we stop being witnesses of the Master. So I ask you: Do you wish to say yes to Jesus’ invitation to be his disciples? Do you wish to be his faithful friends? The true friends of Jesus stand out essentially by the genuine love that shines forth in their way of life. Do you want to experience his love? Let us learn from him, for his words are a school of life, a school where we learn to love.
Before all else, love is beautiful, it is the path to happiness. But it is not an easy path. It is demanding and it requires effort. Think, for example, of when we receive a gift. It makes us happy, but receiving a gift means that someone generous has invested time and effort; by their gift they also give us a bit of themselves, a sacrifice they have made. Think too of the gift that your parents and group leaders have given you in allowing you to come to Rome for this Jubilee day dedicated to you. They planned, organized, and prepared everything for you, and this made them happy, even if it meant that they had to give up a trip for themselves. To love means to give, not only something material, but also something of one’s self: one’s own time, one’s friendship, one’s own abilities.
Look to the Lord, who is never outdone in generosity. We receive so many gifts from him, and every day we should thank him… Let me ask you something. Do you thank the Lord every day? Even if we forget to do so, he never forgets, each day, to give us some special gift. It is not something material and tangible that we can use, but something even greater, a life-long gift. He offers us his faithful friendship, which he will never take back. Even if you disappoint him and walk away from him, Jesus continues to want the best for you and to remain close to you; he believes in you even more than you believe in yourself. This is very important! Because the biggest threat to growing up well comes from thinking that no one cares about us, from feeling that we are all alone. The Lord, on the other hand, is always with you and he is happy to be with you. As he did with his first disciples, he looks you in the eye and he calls you to follow him, to “put out into the deep” and to “cast your nets wide” trusting in his words and using your talents in life, in union with him, without fear. Jesus is waiting patiently for you. He awaits your response. He is waiting for you to say “yes”.
Dear young friends, at this stage in your lives you have a growing desire to demonstrate and receive affection. The Lord, if you let him teach you, will show you how to make tenderness and affection even more beautiful. He will guide your hearts to “love without being possessive”, to love others without trying to own them but letting them be free. There is always a temptation to let our affections be tainted by an instinctive desire to “have to have” what we find pleasing. Our consumerist culture reinforces this tendency. Yet when we hold on too tightly to something, it fades, it dies, and then we feel confused, empty inside. The Lord, if you listen to his voice, will reveal to you the secret of love. It is caring for others, respecting them, protecting them and waiting for them.
At this point in life you feel also a great longing for freedom. Many people will say to you that freedom means doing whatever you want. But here you have to be able to say no. Freedom is not the ability simply to do what I want. This makes us self-centred and aloof, and it prevents us from being open and sincere friends. Instead, freedom is the gift of being able to choose the good. The free person is the one who chooses what is good, what is pleasing to God, even if it requires effort. Only by courageous and firm decisions do we realize our greatest dreams, the dreams which it is worth spending our entire lives to pursue. Don’t be content with mediocrity, with “simply going with the flow”, with being comfortable and laid back. Don’t believe those who would distract you from the real treasure, which you are, by telling you that life is beautiful only if you have many possessions. Be sceptical about people who want to make you believe that you are only important if you act tough like the heroes in films or if you wear the latest fashions. Your happiness has no price. It cannot be bought: it is not an app that you can download on your phones nor will the latest update bring you freedom and grandeur in love.
That is because love is a free gift which calls for an open heart; it is a noble responsibility which is life-long; it is a daily task for those who can achieve great dreams! Love is nurtured by trust, respect and forgiveness. Love does not happen because we talk about it, but when we live it: it is not a sweet poem to study and memorize, but is a life choice to put into practice! How can we grow in love? The secret, once again, is the Lord: Jesus gives us himself in the Mass, he offers us forgives and peace in Confession. There we learn to receive his love, to make it ours and to give it to the world. And when loving seems hard, when it is difficult to say no to something wrong, look up at Jesus on the cross, embrace the cross and don’t ever let go of his hand. He will point you ever higher, and pick you up whenever you fall.
I know that you are capable of acts of great friendship and goodness. With these you are called to build the future, together with others and for others, but never against anyone! You will do amazing things if you prepare well, starting now, by living your youth and all its gifts to the fullest and without fear of hard work. Be like sporting champions, who attain high goals by quiet daily effort and practice. Let your daily programme be the works of mercy. Enthusiastically practice them, so as to be champions in life! In this way you will be recognized as disciples of Jesus. And your joy will be complete.
I started serving Mass in 1959, aged eight. There were no 'children's Masses' then, and I was conscious of participating in something that was not just 'grown up' but terribly important.
I first attended a 'teen Mass' in 1968 when I was 17. Guitars, 'folk' hymns, a young 'right-on' priest who left the priesthood soon afterwards because he couldn't accept HV. I hated it.
One potential problem with Masses for adolescents is that, like Newman Centers, they tend to attract emotionally immature adults.
Once again the product of Vatican II, there is no such thing as a TEEN MASS, it is called the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass and should be in the EF form.
Mass was in Italian, makes no sense but nothing does in Rome since the Council. Please Holy Ghost send us a savior who will return the Traditional Latin Mass to the Church.
All the world MUST be as it was when John Nolan was an eight year old newbie acolyte.
Nothing can be changed . . . nothing can be added.
Everyone must have the same experiences John Nolan had as an eight year old. If he was conscious of participating in something that was not just 'grown up' but terribly important, all eight year old must perceive the Mass and the world in the same way.
Nothing can be changed . . . nothing can be added.
If there is change, then it must be condemned. Those who propose such change or bring it about must be written off as puerile, pathetic, contemptible, and superficial.
"Stop The World I Want To Get Off" is nothing more than a pipe dream.
The irony is that traditional Catholics are having the most children, so the Pope is appealing to a dying audience. Pathetic
We need a Pope who speaks and acts like our next President Donald J. Trump. A Pope who does not care what people think and tells it like it is, starting off by saying I am putting the lid on the Novus Ordo Mass and implementing the return of the Traditional Latin Mass immediately. People want a return to law and order Trump will do this and our next Pope will also, long live the TLM!!!!
I think there's room for 'teen masses', but I also think liturgists and well-meaning parish staff can be very condescending when it comes to teens and children. I've lost track of how many times I've heard such folks say things like 'we need upbeat, happy songs for children', as if kids are only capable of responding to purple dinosaurs. Trouble is, a lot of those songs are pretty weak on doctrine--'Shine, Jesus, Shine' comes to mind. Whereas old standards like 'Holy, Holy, Holy' actually teach something--if the child doesn't understand what the words mean when he's six, he will when he's sixteen, and they'll stay with him a lifetime.
The strongest thing these happy clappy masses offer, like the Novus Ordo itself, is the capacity to startle, to make you look at things from a new perspective. When they become the norm rather than the exception (like the NO) they lose that property.
My "problem" with teen life Masses is that it caters to an age cohort in patronizing terms - rather than introducing them to adult worship.
Suppose some kid really gets into Lifeteen liturgies...will they be prepared to incorporate into adult liturgy? No. We will have trained them to only be Lifeteen Catholics and thus the cultural balkanization continues apace.
The truth be known, it is the adult juvenile delinquents who get their jollies from planning and implementing "Teen Masses." I suspect the Jewish People did no hold "Teen Temple Services" because they treat their teens with respect, rather than infantalizing them. I could chant 5 Latin Ordinaries by the time I was 10 (it wasn't too hard, Bishop Trautman).
I do believe that there may be some here (no names please) who were likely never children or teens at all, but emerged from their mothers' wombs as the pompous, arrogant, insufferable adults that they remain today. Rather than crying to be fed or changed, they chanted Latin Ordinaries...
Look in the mirror if you truly want to see a pompous, arrogant, insufferable adult.
Gob, you have my number. Some people, like me, are born old; others have old age thrust upon them.
Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional....
We already have a Savior, Jesus Christ.
The EF Mass can already be celebrated by every priest of the Latin Rite, so there's no need to call for its return.
John Nolan simply shared his experiences, without claiming everyone else should share them.
As for Mass being in Italian, even Archbishop Lefebvre acknowledged the legitimacy of vernacular rites.
Have you ever studied classical logic and rhetoric?
Dialogue, simply stating that "even Archbishop Lefebvre acknowledged the legitimacy of vernacular rites" tends to negate what appears to be your subsequent attempt to argue based on classical logic and rhetoric. The saintly archbishop is not the sine qua non of tradition. And he said many different things over a very long period of time -- especially on the subject of the Mass, his position developed as is evidenced by the changing rites used at the seminary in Econe.
Anyway, one cannot doubt the legitimacy of vernacular rites considering their history and prevalence in the East. One can doubt the legitimacy of using the vernacular in the Latin Rite considering their lack of history and condemnation by ecumenical council in the West.
We already have a pope who speaks and acts like Donald Trump -- off the cuff, with a heavy dose of nonsensical rhetoric, and lots of name-calling. We need a pope who speaks and acts like a pope.
I loved your last sentence. Strange how the Pope doesn't recognize his own shortcomings but is quick on the draw to point out the shortcomings of others!
Anonymous is being sarcastic.
You know, I was hoping that everyone who supported Trump was being sarcastic, but it turns out they're serious.
In other words, it is difficult to know what's possible these days.
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