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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Video greetings to young people in Argentina

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has sent a Video Message to young boys and girls who are participating in the II National Youth Encounter, taking place from 25 to 27 May in Rosario (Argentina), focused on the theme: With you, we renew history.


Video Message of His Holiness, Pope Francis
addressed to young boys and girls in Argentina

Dear boys and girls:

I am happy to be present through this video message at this National Meeting of Youth that you are experiencing in Rosario. I was asked to address you by my brother bishops, and I do it with pleasure.

I know that they have put forward a lot of effort and prepared in many ways to be there. Thank you for all that work, for setting out with joy, with faith and hope, with shared hopes. When you go to a meeting of young people there is always faith, hope, illusions that are shared there and growth. Thank you for the enthusiasm that they spread - where there are young people there is trouble - for the love towards Christ and their brothers and sisters, which in these days is surely going to increase! But that is not smoke, that is not just smoke. Let it be soap that foams up, but make soap.

When I thought about you and what I could share with you for this meeting, three words occurred to me: presence, communion and mission.

The first word is presence. Jesus is with us, he is present in our history. If we do not convince ourselves of this, we are not Christians. He walks with us, even if we do not know him. Think of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus has become our brother, he also invites us to incarnate ourselves, to build together that beautiful world, the civilization of love, as disciples and missionaries of his, here and now: at home, with your friends, in situations that you live daily. For that, it is necessary to be with him, to meet him in prayer, in the Word, in the sacraments. Dedicate time, spend time in silence so you can hear his voice. Do you know how to create silence in your heart to listen to the voice of Jesus? Is not easy. Try.

He is with you, although perhaps in some moments you feel like the disciples of Emmaus before they met the risen Jesus: you feel sad, disappointed, downcast, without much hope that things will change. And well, you see everything in life, that sometimes, of course, we feel downcast. You get hurt by the way, and it seems that you can not go on anymore, that the contradictions are stronger than all the positive, all the effort that you want to put, that you do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. But when you meet Jesus - it's a grace - the good Samaritan who comes to help you, that Jesus, everything is renewed, you renew yourself and you can renew the story with Jesus. Hey father, do not exaggerate, how are we going to renew the story? You can renew the story. It was renewed by a girl of sixteen who in Nazareth said yes.

The good Samaritan is Christ who approaches the poor, who needs him. The good Samaritan is also you when, like Christ, you approach the one next to you, and in him you know how to discover the face of Christ. It is a path of love and mercy: Jesus finds us, heals us, he sends us to heal others. He sends us to heal others. It is only permissible to look at a person from top to bottom, from above, only to bend down and help them get up. If not, we have no right to look at anyone from above. Nothing with the little nose like that, huh? If I look from above it is to bend and help lift.

But to travel this path of helping to raise others, let us not forget, we need personal encounters with Jesus, moments of prayer, adoration and, above all, listening to the Word of God. I ask you just this: How many of you read the Gospel during the day, even just for two minutes? Two minutes, huh! You have a little Bible, you carry it in your pocket, in your wallet ... While you are on the bus, while you are on the subway, on the train or you stop and sit at home, you open it and read it for two minutes. Try and you will see how your life changes. Why? Because you meet Jesus. You meet the Word.

The second word is communion . We are not alone writing history; some people believed it, they think that alone or with their plans they will build history. We are a people and history is built by peoples, not ideologists. The peoples are the protagonists of history. We are a community, we are a Church. And if you want to grow as a Christian you have to do it in the midst of the people of God, in the Church, as a people. Not in a small or stylized group, separated from the life of the people of God. The people of God are the Church, with all the people of good will, with their children, their great ones, their sick, their healthy, their sinners, all of us! With Jesus, the Virgin, the Saints who accompany us. Walk through your town. Build a village history. Jesus is counting on you and you also can count on him, with him, with all of us, with each one. We know that as a Church we are in a very special time, in the year of the Synod of Bishops that is going to deal with the theme of young people. You young people will be the object of the reflections of this Synod. And also, we will receive from you the contributions, either from the pre-synodal assembly that took place in Rome, with 350 boys and girls from all over the world: Christians, non-Christians and non-believers, in which 15,000 participated through social networks, communicating with them. They have made a proposal, for a week they studied: fighting, arguing, laughing. And that contribution has reached us at the Synod. And there you are. With that contribution we go forward.

I invite you to be participants, protagonists from the heart of this important ecclesial event. Do not stay on the sidelines, commit yourself, say what you think. Do not be exclusive: That he looked at me, that he touched me, that if he thinks differently, that I do not agree with what you think. How do you live? I share what you live! The Pope wants to hear them. The Pope wants to dialogue and seek together new ways of meeting, that renew our faith and revitalize our evangelizing mission.

You know better than me that computers, cell phones need updates to work better. Our pastoral activity also needs to be updated, renewed, revise the connection with Christ in the light of the Gospel - that which you are going to carry in your pocket and you will read for two minutes a day - looking at the world today, discerning and giving new energies to the shared mission that is the work that you are going to have these days, above all, and that I accompany with my closeness and my prayer. And my sympathy.

We said, then, presence and communion. The third word is mission. We are called to be Church on the way out, on mission. A missionary Church, not enclosed in our comforts and schemes, but go out to meet the other. A Samaritan Church, merciful, in an attitude of dialogue, of listening. Jesus calls us, sends us and accompanies us to get closer to all the men and women of today. This is what we will hear on Sunday in the Gospel: Go and make all the nations my disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ... And I am with you until the end of the world ( Mt 28:19-20). Go, do not be afraid! Young people have the strength of restlessness, of nonconformity - be nonconformist - make a mess, do not let the story be written outside, while looking out the window, do not waste your life, put on your shoes, go out, with the shirt of Christ and play for his ideals. Go with him to heal the wounds of so many of our brothers who are lying on the edge of the road, go with him to sow hope in our towns and cities, go with him to renew history.

Many times you have heard that you are the future, in this case the future of the country. The future is in your hands, right, because we are with you, keep going. But beware: seek out a solid future, a fruitful future, a future that has roots. Some dream of a utopian future: No, history has passed, no, not before, now begins. Now nothing starts. Bern├írdez, our poet, ends a verse saying: «What the tree has of flower lives on what it has buried». Go back to the roots and build your future from the roots where the sap comes from: you do not deny the history of your country, you do not deny the history of your family, do not deny your grandparents. Search the roots, look for history. And from there I built the future. And those who tell you: That if the national heroes have passed or that it does not make sense, that now everything starts again ... Laugh at their faces, they are clowns of history.

And I invite you also to look during days to Mary, the Virgin of the Rosary, who knew how to be close to her Son accompanying him in his mysteries of joy and pain, light and glory. May she, Mary, Mother of closeness and tenderness, Lady of the open heart and always available to meet those who need her, be your teacher in the model of the life of faith. You look there, and she will teach you.

May Jesus bless you, may the Holy Virgin take care of you, your families, your communities. And, please, do not forget to pray for me, so that you know how to transmit the roots to the new generations that will make them flourish in the future. Thank you!
(Original text in Spanish)
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