You are BELOVED
Just like John the beloved disciple, who in his youth was called by the Lord to follow Him, the Church loves you with special affection, and we share with you the same call from the Lord. You are loved by the Father [cf. Dt 1:31; Is 40:11; 41:10; 46:4] as Jesus declared to His disciples, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you” [Jn 15:9], and He then invites you to remain in His love by following His commandments [cf. Jn 14:15].
Only then will you experience the joy that is complete [cf. Jn 15:9-11]. The Church in the Philippines seeks to show you the same love [cf. PCP II, 385; KA-LAKBAY, pp. 35-41], especially through her youth ministry, whose aspiration is to raise you up and carry you lovingly through life, with all its trials and tribulations.
You are GIFTED
The Sacrament of Baptism you received initiated you into the life of God and
with God. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, you were gifted with the Holy Spirit who inflames you with faith, passion, and courage.
Like the young lay missionary catechist St. Pedro Calungsod and Richie Fernando, the young Jesuit who died shielding his students from a grenade explosion, your fresh and energetic youthfulness is also a gift, enabling you to commit yourselves in the service of others, as well as renewing the Church and the world…
You are EMPOWERED
In the face of so many of today’s problems and difficulties affecting our Christian life, families, social relationships and communities, as well as various personal and socio-cultural concerns you raised in your letter (mental health, substance abuse, HIV-AIDS, access to education, environmental problems, human trafficking, politics, dialogue with cultures, digital community, etc.), you are able to exhibit the humility to seek the support that will lead you to discover your strengths and capabilities to live meaningful lives.
Like Mary, you are humble enough to proclaim “How can this be…?” [Lk 1:34] and still give your assent in faith. This pleases not only the Lord but also your elders, because you are making us an important part of your development into mature individuals, fully aware of being persons called by God, capable of discerning decisions that positively impact your lives and those of others…
We look at you, our young people, so full of dynamism, as disciples sent on
a mission to make disciples for Jesus. We pray that your discernment, choices and actions will lead you to a purposeful life—whether in the ordained ministry, consecrated life, marriage and family, or the single state—with the Spirit of the Risen Christ directing your steps in making and leaving a marked difference in the world and society [cf. Mt 28:19-20].
As we look forward to 2021, we envision that the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines will be a time to celebrate a bountiful harvest from your ranks—youth committed to families, to the Church and to the country with a renewed passion to proclaim the Word, ready to work with their communities and the Church, and willing to share in molding a just and peaceful world through missionary involvement.
As the Holy Father Pope Francis challenged you, we also say: “So make a mess! But also help in cleaning it up… a mess that brings a free heart, a mess that brings solidarity, a mess that brings us hope, a mess that comes from knowing Jesus and knowing that God, once I know Him, is my strength” (from the WYD 2013).
Description of the 2019 Year of the Youth Logo
The Logo features 4 primary figures: a young person and a cross (Both in yellow), a dove (in red), and a big hand, which also appears as a footprint (in blue).
The human figure in yellow stands for YOUNG PEOPLE conformed to Christ, the Light of the world (Cf. Mt. 5:14; Jn. 8:12), who is represented by the CROSS.
The blue HAND, carrying the human figure in a supporting and presenting gesture, symbolizes how young people are loved by the Father (cf. Dt. 1:31; Is. 40:11; 41:10; 46:4); this same love is mirrored by the Church (cf. PCP II, 385; KA-LAKBAY, pp. 35-41).
This blue image can also be seen as a FOOTPRINT, signifying movement for a purpose and making a mark (cf. Mt 28:19-2). Young people are in mission: proclaiming the Good News who is Christ, especially to their fellow youth in the peripheries…