In a message sent to participants of the Medjugorje International Youth Festival on Thursday, Pope Francis urged young people to open their hearts to the will of God.
“God has a plan of love for each of you,” said the Pope. “Do not be afraid of His will, but place all your trust in His grace.”
The annual Medjugorje Youth Festival takes place this year on 26-30 July in the village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and brings together young people from all over the world to pray, reflect, and grow in their faith.
God’s will is a path to true happiness
Pope Francis began his message by reminding young people that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.
He expressed his hope that their time spent in Eucharistic Adoration and Confession at the Medjugorje festival would help them see that God’s will is not something to be feared, but rather something to be embraced.
“God’s will is a priceless treasure!” he said. “That is why the Virgin Mary forged a kinship with Jesus even before she gave birth to Him.”
Plan of love
Pope Francis went on to reflect on the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, highlighting how she did the will of God despite hardships.
“She became a disciple and mother of her Son the moment she accepted the Angel’s words,” he said. “From that moment, her whole life was a continuous response to God’s will.”
The Pope noted that we sometimes struggle to understand God’s will, especially in difficult moments.
“There is no better will for us than the Father’s will,” he said, “which is His plan of love for us with a view to His kingdom and our full happiness.”
God, added Pope Francis, loves us unconditionally and knows the very depths of our hearts and desires.
Saying ‘yes’ to God in youth
The Pope urged young people at the Medjugorje Youth Festival to offer God their unconditional “yes” in response to His love, especially in the zeal of their youth.
“Let there be no place in your life for selfishness or laziness,” he said. “Take advantage of your youth to lay the foundations of your existence, together with the Lord, because your personal, professional and social future will depend on the choices you make during these years.”
Generous response for a better world
Pope Francis concluded his message by encouraging young people to be enthusiastic missionaries of the new evangelization, carrying the joy of Christ to those who suffer or are searching.
“If you let God’s grace work in you, if you are generous and persevering in your daily commitment,” he said, “you will make this world a better place for all.”