Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love.
Indeed, it is your task to pull down the walls built up during the painful periods of your nation’s history:
Do not build new walls in your country.
On the contrary, it is your task to build bridges between people, families, and different communities.
In your daily life, may you achieve works of reconciliation to pass from mistrust to trust!
Your task is to see that every Lebanese, especially every young person, can participate in your shared communities.
Thus a new brotherhood will be born, and stable bonds woven to build up Lebanon since the principal and the decisive weapon is love.
By drawing on intimate life with the Lord, the source of love and peace, you, in turn, will be artisans of peace and love. In this way, the Apostle says, we will be recognized as his disciples.
You are the treasure of Lebanon, you who hunger for peace and brotherhood and wish to commit yourselves every day to this land to which you are deeply attached.
With your parents, teachers, and all the adults who have social and ecclesial roles, you must prepare the Lebanon of the future to unite people with its cultural and spiritual diversity. Lebanon is a heritage full of promise.
Apply yourself to acquiring a sound civic and moral education to become fully aware of your responsibilities in the nation’s reconstruction.
One of the factors that create unity in a country is the dialogue with every brother and sister, with respect for their particular sensitivities and different community histories. Far from distancing people from one another, this necessary attitude of openness is one of the essential moral elements of democratic life. It is an essential means for developing solidarity, renewing the social fabric, and giving new vitality to national life. *1
Ask the Holy Spirit to make his presence felt in your lives.
For me, it was my father who, uniquely, made me aware of the activity of the Holy Spirit, precisely when I was your age. If I found myself in some difficulty, he would suggest that I pray to the Holy Spirit; and this teaching of his has shown me the path I have followed to this day. I speak to you about this because you are young, as I was then. And I share my conviction with you based on many years of life, also lived in difficult times.
Let us return to the Upper Room. Jesus breathes on the Apostles and says to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20: 22-23).
Dear young people, I want these words mostly to remain in you: in your minds and your hearts.
The Holy Spirit exists as the source of strength to conquer sin.
Only God has the power to forgive sins because he alone sees right into the human person and can ultimately measure human responsibility.
Sin remains, in its psychological depth, a secret which God alone has the power to enter, to say to a person the efficacious words: “Your sins are forgiven you, you are pardoned” (Matthew 9: 2-5; Mark 2: 5-9; Luke 5: 20-23). *2