"We are sinners! Jesus has loved us, has healed us -- or, we are on the road to healing, always."
Answering another question, Pope Francis spoke about the notion of gratuity -- the practice of giving to others what we have received -- which he said is in "danger of disappearing."
Gratuity, the Pope said, stands against "individual gratification," and the "culture of hedonism."
He made the distinction between working and taking advantage of others: in the "culture of work in many underdeveloped countries, there is the subsidy culture which helps, but does not teach (people) to work," he said.
St. Don Bosco, in contrast, worked with the poor living on the streets of Turin, and taught them basic skills to help them enter the workforce, he observed.
"Work resembles God. It resembles God who is creator, the craftsman," the pontiff said. It is a vocation in which we do not remain stalled, but move forward.
Addressing the question put by one student about the need for a "credible witness" amid the complexities of life, Francis challenged them to have the courage to take risks.
The need for a credible witness is "the logic of the Gospel: to give witness with your own life, in your way of living, in the choices made," the Pope said. It is the "witness of us Christians, of Jesus Christ who is alive, who has accompanied us in suffering, has died for us but now lives."
The way to confront the challenges in the spheres of education and the emotional life is to have the courage to take risks, the pontiff said.
"Take risks! He who does not take risks does not walk," yet "you make more mistakes if you remain stationary," he said.
The Pope emphasized the importance of risk-taking, of getting our hands dirty like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel parable. "When we are in a life that is more or less calm, there is always the temptation of paralysis."
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Another question addressed the economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by migration and the widespread shifting of demographics. In his answer, Pope Francis decried the culture which centers around a "god of money," as well as the sale of arms which forces the mass migration currently being witnessed.
In answer to a separate question, the Pope stressed the need for Christian communities to be more welcoming.
"We are living in a civilization of locked doors and closed hearts. We defend ourselves from each other. This is mine. This is mine. Afraid to accept, afraid to accept…"
This need to welcome does not only regard migrants, the pontiff stressed, but on a daily capacity.
"A church with a closed door is a sign that the Christian community has a closed heart; it is locked up in itself. We must regain a sense of welcome."
Other topics addressed during the Q&A, which lasted about an hour included the effects of the "culture of the temporary" with regard to marriage, and a challenge to communities to now allow divisions among them.