Pope John Paul II addressed the Young people of New Orleans in the “Louisiana Superdome” on September 12, 1987. He said, “When we speak about the need of being open to others, of taking into account the community, of fulfilling our responsibilities to all our brothers and sisters, we are actually talking about the whole world. Your mission as young people today is to the whole world. In what sense? You can never forget the interdependence of human beings wherever they are. When Jesus tells us to love our neighbour he does not set a geographical limit. What is needed today is a solidarity between all the young people of the world – a solidarity especially with the poor and all those in need. You young people must change society by your lives of justice and fraternal love. It is not just a question of your own country, but of the whole world. This is certainly your mission, dear young people. You are partners with each other, partners with the whole Church, partners with Christ.”
In reading the address of St. John Paul II above, it seems as though he is talking in the present context, but it took place two decades ago. Indeed, the world today is still facing the same problems of poverty, a refugee crisis, war, political division. We are still laboring with Christ to accomplish His mission to liberate us from all of the evil that causes the worldly problems. In order to accomplish this great mission, we have to live according God’s plan for our lives. When Jesus insisted on the commandment of love, this entire commandment is part of his plan for us.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola invited us to meditate on the Call of the Eternal King. In the meditation, the King speaks to his people: “It is my will to conquer all the land of unbelievers. Therefore, whoever would like to come with me is to be content to eat as I, and also to drink and dress, etc., as I: likewise he is to labor like me in the day and watch in the night, etc., that so afterwards he may have part with me in the victory, as he has had it in the labors.” Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the call of the Eternal King.