Morelia, Mexico, Feb 16, 2016 / 15:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Update: 7:40 pm EST - Read Pope Francis prepared remarks to young people in the “José María Morelos y Pavón” stadium in Morelia, Mexico.
Dear young friends,
Good afternoon. When I arrived in this country I received a warm welcome. I saw something which I have sensed for a long time: the vitality, the joy, and the festive spirit of the Mexican people. And now [ahorita]... after listening to you, but particularly after seeing you, I am also certain about something else, something I said to the President of the nation when I arrived. One of Mexico’s greatest treasures is that it has a youthful face: its young people. Yes, you are the wealth of this land. I did not say the hope of this land, but its wealth.
You cannot live in hope, or look to the future if you do not first know how to value yourselves, if you do not feel that your life, your hands, your history, is worth the effort. Hope is born when you are able to experience that all is not lost; and for this to happen it is necessary to start “at home”, to begin with yourself. Not everything is lost. I am not lost; I am worth something, I am worth a lot. The biggest threats to hope are those words which devalue you, which make you feel second rate. The biggest threat to hope is when you feel that you do not matter to anybody or that that you have been left aside. The biggest threat to hope is when you feel that, either being present or absent, you make no difference. This kills, this crushes us and opens the door to much suffering. The principal threat to hope is to allow yourself to believe that you begin to be valuable when you start wearing the right clothes, the latest brands and fashions, or when you enjoy prestige, are important because you have money; but in the depths of your heart you do not believe that you are worthy of kindness or love. The biggest threat is when a person feels that they must have money to buy everything, including the love of others. The biggest threat is to believe that by having a big car you will be happy.
You are the wealth of Mexico, you are the wealth of the Church. I understand that often it is difficult to feel your value when you are continually exposed to the loss of friends or relatives at the hands of the drug trade, of drugs themselves, of criminal organizations that sow terror. It is hard to feel the wealth of a nation when there are no opportunities for dignified work, no possibilities for study or advancement, when you feel your rights are being trampled on, which then leads you to extreme situations. It is difficult to appreciate the value of a place when, because of your youth, you are used for selfish purposes, seduced by promises that end up being untrue.