Faith is the Work of Holy Spirit
by Pope John Paul II
1. Dear friends who have traveled so many miles, in so many ways, to come to Rome, to the Tombs of the Apostles, let me begin by
putting to you a Question: What have you come here to find? You have come to Celebrate your Jubilee:
The Jubilee of the young Church. Yours is not just any Journey: if you have set out on a Pilgrimage,
it is not just for the Sake of Recreation or an Interest in Culture. Well then, let me ask again: What
have you come in search of? Or rather, Who have you come here to find?
There can be only One (1) Answer to that: You have come in Search of Jesus
Christ! But Jesus Christ has First gone in
Search of you. To Celebrate the Jubilee can have no other meaning than that of Celebrating and Meeting Jesus
Christ, the Word Who took Flesh
and came to Dwell among us.
The Prologue of Saint John's Gospel, which has just now been Proclaimed, is in a sense Jesus'
"Visiting Card". These Words invite us to Fix our Eyes on the
Mystery that He is. These Words hold a Special Message for you, dear young
people: "In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the Beginning
with God" (John 1:1-2).
Origin of the Eternal Word
Father possesses Two (2)
Internal Divine Processions
God the Father
(Begotten, not Made, not Created)
The Eternal Word,
The Son of God,
Second Person of the Holy Trinity
Indicating to us the Word Who is One-in-Being with the
Father, the Eternal Word Generated as
God from God and Light from
Light, the Evangelist takes us to the Heart of the
Divine Life, but also to the Wellspring of the World. This
Word in fact is the Beginning of all Creation: "All things were made through Him, and without
Him was not made anything that was made" (John 1:3). The Whole Created World, before ever it came to be,
was in the Mind of God and was
Willed by Him in an
Eternal Plan of Love. Therefore, if we look at the World in Depth, allowing ourselves to Marvel at the
Wisdom and Beauty which
God has Poured-out upon it, we can see in it a Reflection of the Word,
which Biblical-Revelation Unveils for us Fully in the Face of Jesus of
Nazareth. In a sense, Creation is the First
"Revelation" of Him.
2. The Prologue continues with these Words: "In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men. The Light
shines in the Darkness, but the Darkness did not accept it" (John 1:4-5). For the Evangelist, the
Light is Life, and
Death, the Enemy of Life,
is Darkness. Through the Word, all
Life appeared on the Earth, and in the Word
this Life has its Perfect Fulfillment.
Identifying Light and Life, John is thinking
of the Life that is not just the Biological-Life of the
Body, but the Life which comes from Sharing-in the very
Life of Christ. The Evangelist says:
"The True Light that Enlightens every Man was coming into the World" (John 1:9).
This Enlightenment was given to Humanity on the Night-of-Bethlehem, when the
Eternal Word of the Father took a
Body from the Virgin Mary, became Man, and was
Born into the World. From that time onwards, every Person who by Faith shares in the
Mystery of that Event, experiences some measure of that
Christ Himself, announcing that He was the
Light of the World, said one day: "While you have the Light, Believe in
the Light, that you may become Children of Light" (John 12:36). This is a Summons which the followers
of Christ Pass-on to one another from generation-to-generation, trying to answer it in
Everyday Life. Referring to this Summons, Saint Paul writes: "Walk always as Children of Light, for the Fruit
of Light is found in all that is Good and Right and True" (Ephesians 5:8-9).
3. The Heart of John's Prologue is the Proclamation that "the Word was made Flesh and Dwelt
amongst us" (1:14). A little before this, the Evangelist had declared: "He came to His own Home,
and His own People received Him not. But to all who received Him, He gave Power to become Children of God (cf. 1:10-12). Dear
friends, are you among those who have Accepted Christ? Your presence here is already an Answer
to that Question. You have come to Rome, in this Jubilee of the 2,000th Anniversary of
Christ's Birth, in order to open your Hearts
to the Power of Life which is in Him. You have come here to rediscover the
Truth about Creation and to Recover a Sense of Wonder at the Beauty
and the Richness of the Created World. You have come to Renew within yourselves the Awareness
of the Dignity of Man, Created in the Image and Likeness of God.
"We have beheld His Glory, Glory as of the only Son from the Father, Full of Grace and Truth"
(John 1:14). A Contemporary Philosopher has emphasized the Significance of Death
in Human Life, to the point of describing Man as "a Being made for Death". The
Gospel, on the contrary, makes it clear that Man is a Being made for Life.
Every Person is called by God to share in the Divine Life.
Man is a Being called to Glory.
These days, which you will spend together in Rome at the World Youth Day, should help each of you to see more clearly the
Glory which belongs to the Son of God and
to which we have been called in Him by the Father.
For this to happen, your Faith in Christ must
Grow and be Strengthened.
4. I wish to Bear Witness to this Faith here before all of you, young friends, at the
Tomb of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord wished me to Succeed as Bishop of Rome.
Beginning with myself, today I wish to tell you that I Believe Firmly in Jesus Christ our
Lord. Yes, I Believe, and I make my-own, the Words of the Apostle Paul:
"The Life I now Live in the Flesh I Live by Faith in the Son of God, Who Loved me and Gave Himself for
me" (Galations 2:20).
I remember how as a child, in my own family, I learned to Pray and Trust in
God. I remember the Life of my Parish in Wadowice and that of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, in
Debniki in Kraków where I received my Basic Training in Christian Living. I cannot forget
the experience of the War and the Years of Work in a Factory. My Priestly Vocation came to its Full Maturity during the Second
World War, during the Occupation of Poland. The Tragedy of the War gave a particular coloring
to the Gradual Maturing of my Vocation in Life. In these circumstances, I perceived a Light
shining ever more brightly within me: the Lord wanted me to be a Priest! I remember with
feeling, that moment in my life when, on the Morning of 1 November 1946, I was Ordained a Priest.
My Credo continues in my Present Service to the Church. On
16 October 1978, after my Election to the See-of-Peter, when I was asked "Do you accept?",
I answered "With Obedience in Faith to Christ, my Lord, and Trusting in the Mother of Christ and of the Church,
no matter what the Difficulties, I accept"
Redemptor Hominis, n. 2). From that time on, I have tried to Carry-out my Mission, drawing
Light and Strength every day from the
Faith that Binds me to Christ.
But my Faith, like that of Peter and like the Faith
of each one of you, is not just my doing, my Attachment to the Truth of
Christ and the Church. It is Essentially and Primarily the Work of the
Holy Spirit, a Gift of
His Grace. The Lord gives His Spirit to
me as He gives Him to you, to Help us say:
"I Believe", and then to use us to Bear Witness to Him in
every Corner of the World.
5. Dear friends, why do I want to offer you this Personal Testimony at the beginning of your Jubilee? I do so in order to make it clear that
the Journey of Faith is part of everything that happens in our Lives.
God is at Work in the Concrete and Personal Situations of each one of us: through them, sometimes in Truly
Mysterious Ways, the Word "Made Flesh",
Who came to Live among us, makes Himself
Present to us.
Dear young people, do not let the time that the Lord gives you go by as though everything
happened by-chance. Saint John has told us that everything has been Made-in Christ. Therefore,
Believe Unshakeably in Him. He Directs the History of
Individuals, as well as the History of Humanity. Certainly Christ Respects our Freedom, but in all
the Joyful or Bitter Circumstances of Life,
He never stops asking us to Believe in Him,
in His Word, in the Reality of the Church,
in Eternal Life!
Don't ever think then that you are unknown to Him, as if you were just a Number in an
Anonymous Crowd. Each one of you is Precious to Christ,
He knows you Personally, He Loves you Tenderly, even when you are not aware of it.
6. Dear friends, who face the Third Millennium with all the Ardor of your Youth, give your
Full Attention to the Opportunity Offered to you by World Youth Day in this Church of Rome,
which today more than ever is your Church. Let yourselves be Molded by the
Holy Spirit. Spend Time in Prayer, letting the
Spirit Speak to your Hearts. To
Pray means to give some of your Time to Christ, to Entrust yourselves to
Him, to Listen in Silence to His Word, to
make It Echo in your Hearts.
Treat these days as though they were a Great Week of Spiritual Exercises; look for Times of
Silence, Prayer and Recollection. Ask the Holy Spirit
to Enlighten your Minds, ask
Him for the Gift of a Living
Faith which will forever give Meaning to your Lives, Joining them to Christ, the
Word made Flesh.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave Birth to
Christ by the Work of the Holy Spirit,
Mary Salus Populi Romani (Protectress of the Roman
People) and Mother of all Peoples, and Saints Peter and Paul, and all the other
Saints and Martyrs of this
Church and of all the Churches to which you belong, Sustain you on