Intellectual charity is the chance for young people of Europe and Asia
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
This Palm Sunday is a big reminder of the person of the Holy Father John Paul II who began the World Youth Days. Every year the Church challenges young people from all over the world - young people who are united and express their unity with the Successor of St Peter - to believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord of heaven and earth, 'the centre of the universe and history', as Benedict XVI put it at the prayer meeting with students of the Roman universities on 10 March 2007. It was the Polish Pope that began that great movement of the youth in the world. At the beginning of his pontificate he addressed the youth, 'You are the hope of the Church, you are my hope'. His statement has been echoed throughout years and will certainly be repeated.
Today when we face the second anniversary of the death of John Paul II, this papal statement sounds very strongly. The successor of John Paul II Benedict XVI expresses his deep faith in young people and tells them the same words. The above-mentioned meeting with students in the audience hall of Paul VI was very meaningful. It was a meeting with young people of Europe and Asia. The Holy Father stressed that intellectual charity should unite us and that charity was the way to a new collaboration between Europe and Asia. Intellectual charity is seeking values, which are the truth and good.
In fact, today we can see some extreme turn towards economy in the contemporary world. The governments of the world are only based on economic structures as if nothing else but budget, firms, purchase and sale count ... This 'have more' leads to huge competition between countries and also between people, and this competition is not, unfortunately, connected with love. This is only the desire to win, to gain, no matter what means are used. We know that economy often lacks morality and healthy competition. Instead there are cunning and lying. Therefore, we are thankful for the proposal of Benedict XVI. May intellectual charity unite us. This Pope, who is a great intellectual, has the right to call us to such love. For we need to notice the values that are connected with searching for the truth and good. They often go to the background, stop being taken into account. But these are the highest values.
It is also very important that Benedict XVI called the nations of Asia to show that charity. This huge continent, which we have not discovered yet, is full of great thought and great intellectual and philosophical search. One should look at Asia as a multitude of peoples and nations who do not know Christ. Perhaps there will be a big meeting of love that will yield the fruit of unity of Asian and European thought. We know that the Asian nations are extremely sensitive to spiritual values, that Asia listens very diligently to Christian thinking, and the adherence to Christ of those Asian inhabitants, who received Baptism and the Gospel of Jesus, has sounded strongly in history and at present. How many martyrs, how many people who strongly and consistently believe in Christ! The faith of Asian Christians, in Korea or Vietnam, is many a time stronger and more vivid than the faith of European Christians. This shows how fruitful the intellectual background, as if the sub-soil, can be when the Gospel blooms on it.
The Holy Father shows us new bridges for the Gospel and evangelisation. One of such bridges is Palm Sunday, which is a chance to evangelise young generations. Since the thing is to seek values which cannot be destroyed and which will make individuals and whole societies live in happiness and security. So Palm Sunday is a Sunday of great hope in the victory of charity and truth; the values that build trust in people and that bring peace to the earth.