WYD Krakow 2016: Mercy, Harmony and Faith to celebrate joyfully Jesus Christ’s love
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’ (Mt 5:7). In 2013, in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis chose the fifth of the eight Beatitudes to announce the theme of the World Youth Day 206, which will take place in Krakow from 26 to 31 July. Mercy has always been the focus of the Holy Father’s thoughts and actions. It is considered the core of Jesus Christ’s legacy. It will be the architrave of the messages that the Bishop of Rome will send to more than 4 million young people joining this joyful celebration of Jesus Christ’s love.
St. Augustine in his “Confessions”, told: “For I saw not the abyss of vileness, wherein I was cast away from Thine eyes. Before them what more foul than I was already, displeasing even such as myself? with innumerable lies deceiving my tutor, my masters, my parents, from love of play, eagerness to see vain shows and restlessness to imitate them!”. Today’s young people identify themselves in this apprehension, anxiety and confusion. Shaken and confused hearts that are looking for the real sense of life. And in this delicate moment, which makes young people very vulnerable, Pope Francis put them in front of a challenge, encouraging them to find "find the One who can give you an answer to your restlessness". The meeting with Jesus Christ, indeed, likewise what happened to St. Augustine, will be the light of their lives. No goods or temporary pleasure can cut the roots of young people’s restlessness as love, strength and peace which can derive from the reunification with Jesus Christ, Our Holy Lord.
In particular, Pope Francis underlines that the meeting with Jesus Christ will teach young people to be “merciful as the Father” and “offer the world a new sign of harmony”. Mercy is the path to follow to live and act as Jesus of Nazareth. It is necessary, indeed, to discover again both corporal and spiritual works of mercy, such as feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, visit the sick, clothe the prisoners, bury the dead, counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the afflicted, pray for God and the dead, do not use words of disdain or condemnation, avoid resentment, rage, revenge and opt for forgiveness, symbol of courage which gives us a new life. All young people who get closer to God and learn these lessons are going to confer the world a new image and a testimony of harmony. As declared by the Bishop of Rome, in Krakow there will be “A mosaic of different faces, from many races, languages, peoples and cultures, but all united in the name of Jesus, who is the Face of Mercy.”
On the occasion of this huge celebration in Krakow, Faith is added to Mercy and Harmony. Pope Francis has already reminded the greatness of both the Polish nation and people. They have gone through troubles in history and they have reacted thanks to the strength of their faith, prayer and fraternity, thus becoming an extraordinary example for all the young people who will participate in the World Youth Day. The Polish nation is strong, it gave birth to St. John Paul II, the creator of World Youth Days. The Holy Father and the young people will pray and rejoice also in St. John Paul II’s loving memory. He was a spiritual guide towards the freedom of the hearts through the Marian prayer and the faith in Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Mercy is the architrave that supports the life of the Church” (Pope Francis, message to Capitolo Generale dei Priori Provinciali dei Padri Domenicano, July 2016)