Commentary of the day
Blessed John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Speech to the youth of Chile, 02/04/1987
"The child is not dead but asleep"
My dear young people, the future depends on you; the completion of this millennium and beginning of another depend on you. So do not be passive: assume your responsibilities in every area that opens itself up to you in this world... Take up your responsibilities! Inspired by faith in the Lord «always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope» (1Pet 3,15)... What is the reason for your confidence? Your faith, recognition and acceptance of the tremendous love God is constantly showing towards humankind... Jesus Christ, «the same today, yesterday and forever» (Heb 13,8), continues to show to all young people the same love the Gospel describes when he met up with a young man or woman
So we can contemplate the raising of Jairus' daughter who «was twelve years old»... Jairus frankly exposes his anguish to the Master; he earnestly beseeches his heart: «My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay hands on her that she may get well and live.» «Jesus went off with him.» The heart of Christ, which is moved before this man and his daughter's human suffering, cannot remain heedless before our suffering. Christ always hears us but he asks us to turn to him with faith... The Lord's every gesture and word express this love.
I would like especially to pause over the words drawn from Jesus' own lips: «The child is not dead but asleep.» These words that are so deeply illuminating prompt me to think of the mysterious presence of the Lord of life in a world that appears to have succumbed to the shameless promptings of hate, violence and injustice. Yet, no, this world of yours is not dead but sleeps. In your hearts, dear young people, we perceive the strong beat of life and the love of God. Youth is not dead when it is close to the Master. Yes, when it is close to Jesus: you are all close to Jesus. Listen to all his words, every word, each one. Young people, love Jesus, seek Jesus, meet Jesus.