In Latin America, hope has a youthful face, he said. Some people point to young people's alleged shortcomings and lack of motivation, and others see them as potential customers or seek to enlist them in violence and trafficking.
"Pay no attention to these caricatures of young people. Look them in the eye and seek in them the courage of hope," Pope Francis said. "Look them in the eye and seek in them the courage of hope."
"It is not true that they want to return to the past," he claimed.
"It is our task us to present the young with lofty ideals and to encourage them to stake their lives on God, in imitation of the openness shown by Our Lady."
Hope in Latin America also has a woman's face, the Roman Pontiff reflected.
"From their lips we learned the faith, and with their milk we took on the features of our mestizo soul and our immunity to despair," he explained. "I think of indigenous or black mothers, I think of mothers in our cities working three jobs, I think of elderly women who serve as catechists, and I think of consecrated woman and those who quietly go about doing so much good. Without women, the Church of this continent would lose its power to be continually reborn. It is women who keep patiently kindling the flame of faith."
He stressed the grave obligation to understand, respect, appreciate, and promote women's impact on society and the Church. He invoked the example of the women who accompanied Christ and did not abandon him at the foot of the cross.
"Please, do not let them be reduced to servants of our recalcitrant clericalism," he said, declaring that women are on "the front lines" of the Church.
He stressed that hope must pass through the hearts, minds, and arms of the laity. He challenged a clericalism that treats the laity as children and impoverishes the identity of clerics.
Hope must also look at the world with "the eyes of the poor."
"Hope is poor, like the grain of wheat that dies, yet has the power to disseminate God's plans," said the Pope.
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Wealth frequently blinds us to "both the reality of the desert and the oases hidden therein," and offers "textbook answers and repeats platitudes," he said.
"It babbles about its own empty ideas and concerns, without even coming close to reality. I am certain that in this difficult and confused, yet provisional moment that we are experiencing, we will find the solutions to the complex problems we face in that Christian simplicity hidden to the powerful yet revealed to the lowly. The simplicity of straightforward faith in the risen Lord, the warmth of communion with him, fraternity, generosity, and the concrete solidarity that likewise wells up from our friendship with him.
The Pope stressed that God does not speak to us as if we were strangers or as if he were a solicitor delivering a personal summons, nor does he "lay down rules to be followed like certain functionaries of the sacred."
Rather, "God speaks with the unmistakable voice of the Father to his children; he respects the mystery of man because he formed us with his own hands and gave us a meaningful purpose."
"Our great challenge as a Church is to speak to men and women about this closeness of God, who considers us his sons and daughters, even when we reject his fatherhood," the Pope told the bishops. "For him, we are always children to be encountered anew."
The Gospel cannot be reduced to "a programme at the service of a trendy gnosticism, a project of social improvement, or the Church conceived as a comfortable bureaucracy, any more than she can be reduced to an organization run according to modern business models by a clerical caste."