My dear friends, participants in the Taizé European Youth Encounter,

With genuine joy I greet you on behalf of the World Council of Churches and send my prayers and good wishes for your days of encounter and your work of self-reflection, prayer, meeting each other, and together facing the needs of our times.

Your presence lifts my heart because I see in it a sign that we—as persons, as Christians, as Europeans—can, through our personal and collective transformation as disciples of Christ, meet and surmount the many difficulties and challenges our world struggles to cope with today. You give me hope!

How can this happen? As Father Alois has exhorted, by opening ourselves up and attuning ourselves to the love of God, the person of Christ, and the work of the Spirit, we can become artisans of unity. We forge friendships and create genuine community with those around us, even or especially with those different from us. We experience solidarity with all those in need and with our needy planet. We let our hope open new and creative approaches. We explore shared values and pursue reconciliation to bring all of us together as one human family.

Such radical conversion—giving ourselves over fully to love—is neither quick nor easy, but it is what we are made for.

I need not belabor all the mountainous challenges we face today; you know them as well as I. Our one hope of overcoming them and creating a sustainable future lies in coming together as persons and communities absolutely committed to life, to the dignity and well-being of each person, and to the welfare of creation.

As young people, as persons of love and conscience, as disciples of Christ and his way, you hold a key to that future. With the whole worldwide fellowship of churches, I pray: May your time together plant seeds of transformation for you and your friends, for our communities and nations, and for our world.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary
World Council of Churches

Geneva, December 2021