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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Letter from Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, to ECYD Members
“Today, the Pope, the Church, and ECYD continue to have great confidence in you, because Christ himself has confidence in you.”

youth picture composite
"Do not be afraid to swim against the tide. Christ is at your side and will never abandon you."

The following letter, addressed to 3rd and 4th stage ECYD members, can be downloaded in pdf format at this link. Note: to learn more about ECYD, click here.

Thy Kingdom Come!

Rome, March 27, 2010

To the members of third and fourth stage ECYD

Dear ECYD members:

 I am very happy to be able to greet you; it is always a joy to be with you and to share, even if only by letter, in your projects, your self-giving, and your battles to be faithful to the friendship Christ offers you every day.

 In a few days, it will be the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s letter to the youth of the world on the occasion of the International Youth Year. In this letter, the Pope entrusted the future of the Church to you, the youth, because he knew that a young person who discovers Christ on his path through life will become a witness of hope for those who are by his side: “In you there is hope, for you belong to the future, just as the future belongs to you. For hope is always linked to the future; it is the expectation of ‘future good things.’ As a Christian virtue, it is linked to the expectation of those eternal good things which God has promised to man in Jesus Christ. And at the same time, this hope, as both a Christian and a human virtue, is the expectation of the good things which man will build, using the talents given him by Providence” (cf. Pope John Paul II, Letter to the Youth, n. 1).

 Today, the Pope, the Church, and ECYD continue to have great confidence in you, because Christ himself has confidence in you. Your generous self-giving to the mission is changing the world. It is enough to see the surprise of so many people who live in the heart of big cities like Rome, New York, Madrid, Mexico City, or Sao Paolo, when they meet up with groups of young people who talk about God and who have given a summer to Christ to share with the world the fire they bear in their hearts. In you, we see once again God’s confidence in young David, as he went out to face Goliath, the giant warrior.

Adolescence is a time to do great things

 There can be many important decisions in our lives, but there is one that marks our life in a definitive and eternal way: love. Love for Christ and for our brothers and sisters, which stands at the heart of the Gospel message. A love that is not just feelings, a love that becomes a reality in the gift of ourselves. That is why only the youth who love much can reach their ideals and do great things for Christ and for their brothers and sisters, mankind.

 In these times, God is asking you for great personal consistency and a fidelity that is capable of going to the point of martyrdom. A few months ago, an ECYD member from the United States explained to his class and his teacher why abortion and the politics that favor it are wrong, knowing that the classroom environment was not sympathetic to his thinking. This young man commented to his friends that he was happy, because he was more ready to follow Christ than the opinions of men.

Live in the dimension of self-giving: concrete means to live generosity

 As ECYD members, you have excellent means within your reach to live this dimension of the gift of your Christian life. Many of you edify us with your generosity by giving a summer to Christ as volunteers, being protagonists of apostolic initiatives that draw so many souls to Christ.

 But the gift of ourselves to God and our brothers and sisters can sometimes be a bit difficult to understand: the more we give, the more we receive. This is what Pope Benedict XVI expressed so beautifully when he told us in his first homily after his election: “God does not take anything away, he gives everything.” Think that our time on this earth is measured in hours, days, weeks that pass by and end. A few weeks ago, the Winter Olympics ended and now we are getting ready for the World Cup. In these events, we see men and women who have spent themselves and worked hard to earn a place among the best in their specialty; nevertheless, except for a few rare exceptions, we will have a hard time remembering them in 20 years. When we live our lives with the desire to give ourselves to others without measure, that self-giving becomes not a medal or a material crown, but a conquest to reach heaven. Remember what Christ himself told us: “Whatever you did to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40).

 Dear young people, I invite you to pick up the Gospel passage of the meeting between Christ and the rich young man. Let Christ look at you with the same gaze of love and ask him what more he wants of you. Ask yourselves before Christ what more you can do for him. And do not be afraid to be generous. He is our best friend and the only thing he wants is our happiness and fulfillment. Do not be afraid to swim against the tide. Christ is at your side and will never abandon you. We have only to take his hand and start walking.

 May the Blessed Virgin be very close to you in these years. There is no personal or apostolic project, no sincere desire of self-giving that will fail if we, like children, put it in her motherly hands.
 Always count on my prayers for you and your loved ones. Your affectionate servant in Christ,

Fr Álvaro Corcuera, LC



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