"Joao Cardinal Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, talks to more than 200 youth of Taiwan at the Apostolic Nunciature on April 13, 2013"

by Fr. Luigino Marchioron, SX


The Cardinal began his familiar speech by quoting the Message of Benedict XVI for The Twenty-eighth World Youth Day 2013 whose theme is "Go and make disciples of all nations!" (cf. Mt 28:19).

The open arms of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, he said, is an expressive symbol for us because the arms of Jesus are a sign of his eagerness to welcome and embrace each of you here. We are called to let Jesus draw us to Him. To accept the Love of Jesus for us and become his witnesses is our growth and our joy. Our personal relationship with Jesus has to be communicated to other people. We are called to know God also in the life of other people, because every person brings the image, the likeness of God.

The Cardinal also mentioned that the preparation of the gathering coincides with the Year of Faith. He said: I know that Catholic youth in Taiwan, although a small percentage, is very alive, committed and full of enthusiasm. You are making an important contribution to the Taiwanese society because you are involved in many activities to share and make Jesus known. This is the most beautiful gift you can offer to your friends.

Faith brings light to our difficulties, to our moments of darkness. Faith helps us to understand how important every person is. Each of you is the fruit of God's love!

Several times the Cardinal stressed that God loves each of us personally, with tenderness, patience, and humbleness. He does not look on our sins because we are the most precious thing in His heart. The life of each person for God is priceless.

I am happy to be with you tonight, he said, because we are called to walk together, to be in communion with one another. The Church is counting on you: you are called to be the first missionaries among your companions. You are called to become friends of Jesus and this relationship with Jesus will be positive and help other friends to experience that God is love.

The Cardinal repeated in many occasions the idea that it is important for us to testify the loving presence of God in our lives so that others, through our relationship, can have the same experience too.

Another element the Cardinal loved to underline was the fact that by living an experience of communion with others, our personal faith is strengthened. When we are sharing the Gospel, in reality we ourselves are growing more deeply in the love of God.

The reason to share with our friends is the joy that comes from our relationship with Christ. He is our light, our rock, our Path, our Truth, our Life. We build up our existence in Him.

Finally, the Cardinal encouraged each of us to give many thanks to Jesus for the gifts we have received in our Christian life. We are called to pass these gifts on to our companions. We need to have the courage to go out from ourselves in order to go forth towards others and to show them the way to experience the love of God.

Christ needs your answer. We are called to reach out to everyone, especially to those friends who are "far away". We can talk to them with simplicity and respect. This true friendship will bear fruit.

Many of you cannot go to Brazil, but there are many areas of your lives where you can go to share the Gospel, for example our families, communities, places of study and work, group of friends and places where we spend our free time. To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus is not only a matter of words, but something that involves our lives and it is expressed through concrete signs of love. We are called to be the heart and arms of Jesus.

I thank each of you for the great job you are doing as young Catholics here in Taiwan.