12 September 2022
Mary, a model for young people on the move
Message for the WYD 2022-2023 that will take place in November and in August
“Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39): this is the theme of the Holy Father's Message to young people on the occasion of the XXXVII World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in the particular Churches on November 20, 2022, and at the international level in Lisbon from August 1-6, 2023.
The text, signed by Pope Francis on the day of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, concludes the cycle of three messages accompanying young people on the journey between the WYD Panama 2019 and the WYD Lisbon 2023, all centered on the verb to arise.
Go out towards others
In this year's Message, the Holy Father invites young people to meditate together on the biblical scene in which, after the Annunciation, the young Virgin Mary arises and sets out to meet her cousin Elizabeth, carrying Christ inside her. “The Mother of the Lord is a model for young people on the move, who refuse to stand in front of a mirror to contemplate themselves or to get caught up in the ‘net’. Mary’s focus is always directed outwards” - writes the Pope, emphasizing that this readiness to go out towards others is generated by one's own life experience with the Lord.
Starting from the reflection regarding the haste that characterizes the Virgin of Nazareth, the Holy Father encourages young people to ask themselves what attitudes and motivations they experience in the face of the challenges of everyday life. He invites them to make a discernment between a “healthy haste [that]drives us always upwards and towards others” and that which is “an unhealthy haste (…) which can drive us to live superficially and to take everything lightly. Without commitment or concern, without investing ourselves in what we do”.
Overcome the distances between people and generations
The Holy Father's words, filled with kindness and trust toward young people, encourage us to embark upon new encounters, to share the joy of Christ's closeness, to overcome the distances between people and generations, and to respond creatively to the challenges of today's world, stricken by pandemic and wars. “Young people always represent the hope for new unity within our fragmented and divided human family. But only if they can preserve memory, only if they can hear the dramas and dreams of the elderly” – underlines Pope Francis in asking young people to be inspired both by Mary's example and by the experience of the elderly people around them.
The embrace of a new missionary fraternity!
The Message is also a warm invitation to all young people to participate in the upcoming XXXVII World Youth Day, which - as the Holy Father writes - will be a time to rediscover together “the joy of a fraternal embrace between peoples and generations, an embrace of reconciliation and peace, an embrace of new missionary fraternity!”. After having been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, this WYD will be celebrated on two separate occasions: first on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 20 this year, with celebrations in the particular Churches around the world, and then at the international level in Lisbon from August 1-6, 2023.
The two celebrations have the same theme: “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39).