Pope Francis sent the 8-minute video message to youth participating in the Canadian National Youth Forum, which was held Oct. 22 on the theme of the upcoming 2018 Synod of Bishops, “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
The nationally televised forum was hosted by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, and by Fr. Thomas Rosica, founder and CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Television Network.
In his message, Francis told the youth not to let people destroy and exploit the world – a world that reveals its beauty when people work together, looking for the good of each person.
“I invite you to flood the places where you live with the joy and enthusiasm typical of your youthful age, to irrigate the world and history with the joy that comes from the Gospel, from having met a Person: Jesus, who has enthralled you and has drawn you to be with Him,” he said.
He also said he wanted to remind them of the Jesus’ words when his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, where do you live?” and he answered, “Come and see.”
Jesus says the same thing to us, inviting us to come to him, he said, asking: Have you heard his voice? Encountered his gaze? Though “din and dizziness seem to reign in the world, this call continues to resonate in your soul, to open it to full joy,” he stated.
In order to respond to this call, you must discern God’s plan for your life, the Pope continued, a plan he has for each and every one of you. Even in difficulty or failure, God, “rich in mercy,” is always giving you his hand to help pick you back up again.
The Pope noted that some of these words were part of the letter he wrote to young people in January when he presented the theme of the upcoming Synod.
He emphasized that the world and the Church are in need of courageous young people, who don’t run away from difficulty, but face trials with “hearts open” to others.
He asked that they would not ignore their peers’ cries for help. “I count on your willingness, your commitment, your ability to face important challenges and dare to make the future, to take decisive steps along the path of change,” he said.
Concluding, Francis voiced his hope that the meeting between young people of Canada would be like the meeting of the first disciples, and that it would open them up to the beauty of a life spent following the Lord.
“For this reason I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like you, to whom God turned His loving gaze,” he said.
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“Let yourselves be taken by Mary’s, and let her guide you to the joy of saying a full and generous, ‘Here I am!’ Jesus watches you and awaits a ‘Here I am!’ from each of you.”