Dear young people, you have come to Krakow to meet Jesus. Today’s Gospel speaks to us of just such a meeting between Jesus and a man named Zacchaeus, in Jericho (cf. Lk 19:1-10). There Jesus does not simply preach or greet people; as the Evangelist tells us, he passed through the city (v. 1). In other words, Jesus wants to draw near to us personally, to accompany our journey to its end, so that his life and our life can truly meet.
On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Pope Francis presided over the prayer vigil during the World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland:
Dear young people, good evening! It is good to be here with you at this Prayer Vigil!
At the end of his powerful and moving witness, Rand asked something of us. He said: “I earnestly ask you to pray for my beloved country”. This story involving war, grief and loss, ended with a request for prayers. Is there a better way for us to begin our vigil than by praying?