Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Mary Beth Bonacci wrote a nice article in April after the death of JPII. In it she asks and then answers the question so many journalists wanted to know: Why did the youth of the world love this old man so much? The answer is something that all of us adults should keep in mind.
He wasn’t about himself. He was about Jesus.

Which leads to the most important point: John Paul II loved youth, and they recognized it. But he didn’t just love them with a human love. He, in a very real way, brought the love of Christ to them. He embodied the love of Christ. He made that love real – he showed them what it looks like. Christ’s love is personal, tender, playful, challenging. That what Pope John Paul II brought to the youth of the world.

It is a mistake to believe that young people want sex, drugs and rock and roll. What they want, more than anything, is love. They may use sex, drugs and rock and roll to try to find love, or to numb the pain of the lack of love. But in their heart of hearts, they hunger for real, honest love. They hunger for Christ. And once they encounter Him, everything changes.

Why did the youth of the world love a Pope who gave them so many rules? Because he didn’t just give them rules -- he gave them the love of Christ. In the context of that love, those “rules” take on a whole new meaning. They aren’t about jumping through hoops. They are about living and passing on the love they have received.


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