Pope John Paul II, celebrating mass on Friday (March 24) before a crowd of some 100,000 Christians by the Sea of Galilee, focused his message on young believers—calling on them to choose the path of good over evil. In a voice that was stronger and clearer than at any time during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the pope's message reverberated across the Mount of Beatitudes.The Mount of Beatitudes, known in Israel by its Hebrew name, Mount Korazim, is the place where tradition holds that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. In one of the sermon's best-known sections, called the "beatitudes," Jesus says those who are blessed include those who are poor in spirit, meek, pure in heart, and peacemakers.Many in the crowd were overcome by emotion, tears streaming down their faces, while others waved yellow and white Vatican flags and sung hymns, as they heard the pontiff draw upon the sermon of Jesus."Now at the dawn of the third millennium, it is your turn to go out into the world to preach the message of the Ten Commandments and the beatitudes," the Pope said from a stage that overlooked a sparkling and tranquil Sea of Galilee.And in a message aimed directly at the many young people in the audience, John Paul said the Sermon on the Mount was as relevant today as it was nearly two thousand years ago."How many young people down the centuries have gathered around Jesus to learn the words of eternal life, as you are gathered here today?" he asked."How many young hearts have been inspired by the power of his personality and the compelling truth of his message? It is wonderful that you are here."The Pope urged the young people to listen to the words of Jesus when choosing between the competing voices in the world."The choice between ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more