Pope Francis: Jesus frees us from the ‘paralysis’ of laziness and selfishness

Pope Francis amid a crowd holding cell phones during his general audience in Paul VI Hall on January 26, 2022. Pope Francis during his general audience in Paul VI Hall on January 26, 2022. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis warned young people on Saturday about the temptation to “live like you were dead,” withdrawn and paralyzed by laziness and selfishness.

In a meeting with a missionary youth conference on April 23, the pope said that in the face of this “paralysis” that can be seen everywhere in society today, Jesus issues an invitation: “Get up!”

“Jesus gives us the strength to get up and asks us to avoid the deadening withdrawal into ourselves, the paralysis of selfishness, laziness and superficiality,” he said.

The pope encouraged the Italian teens to stand up and “relaunch” their lives toward a future full of hope and charity.

“Today we need people, especially young people, who have eyes to see the needs of the weakest and a big heart that makes them capable of giving themselves totally,” Pope Francis said.

“You too are called to put your skills to good use and to put your intelligence at the service of others, in order to organize charity with wide-ranging projects."

The pope met with the participants of a missionary youth conference organized by the Italian bishops’ conference taking place April 22-25.

The group’s meeting with the pope was originally scheduled for Friday, but was postponed to Saturday after an announcement from the Vatican that the pope’s schedule needed to be cleared on April 22 for medical checkups.

Despite the cancelations the day prior, the pope had a full schedule of audiences on April 23 meeting with three groups and multiple bishops.

“Every Christian, baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, is called to live as if immersed in an everlasting Easter and therefore to live as one who has been raised up to new life. Don't live as if you were dead, live as if you have risen,” Pope Francis told the missionary youth conference.

“When someone conveys the Gospel with his or her life, it breaks through even the hardest of hearts,” he added.

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