Pope Benedict called on young people to not pursue power, money and prestige, but to find true joy in Christ and live a life of generous service to others.
In his message for World Youth Day 2012, the pope told the world's young Catholics to start making the world a better, more just and humane place right now, even while they continue to pursue their studies, talents and interests.
Do not be content in giving the minimum, he said.
"The world needs men and women who are competent and generous, willing to be at the service of the common good."
World Youth Day was marked on Palm Sunday, April 1.
In the message, the pope said "joy is an important witness to the beauty and reliability of the Christian faith."