Colombia - Pope Francis: "I call on you to commit to renewing society"

11 September 2017

(ANS - Bogotà) - When Pope Francis turned to the audience at Bolívar Square in Bogotá from the balcony of the Cardinal Palace, most were young. His words expressed the great hope the Pope places in young people: he believes in their potential, knows they have the power to change history.

The Holy Father began his discourse thus: "I come also to learn; from your faith, from your fortitude in the face of adversity." He reiterated what he told the bishops of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), that is, to leave stereotypes about young people aside, inviting them to "look in their eyes (of youths) and look for the courage of hope in them".

Pope Francis asked young people to contribute in a fashion proper to their age: "Keep joy alive, because it is a sign of the young heart, of the heart that met the Lord. And if you keep this joy alive with Jesus, no one can take it away from you, no one (cf. Jn 16:22)! Take care of this joy, which all unites in knowing you are loved by the Lord."

"During these days," he continued, "I would like to share the most important truth with you: God loves us with the love of a Father and He encourages us to continue to seek and to desire peace, peace that is authentic and long-lasting."

The Pope exhorted young people to build a new society: "You can teach us elders that the culture of meeting one another does not mean thinking, living or reacting all in the same way; the culture of the encounter means knowing that beyond our differences we are all part of something great that unites us and transcends us all."

Finally he advised them: "may the difficulties not oppress you, violence not strike you down, and evil not win over you. We believe that Jesus, with His love and mercy that remains forever, has won against evil, has won against sin and death. All it takes is for you to go to Him. I invite you to commit yourselves, not to an accomplished outcome, but to the renewal of society, so that it is just, stable, fruitful."

The Pope's message is an example of trust in the new generations, an implicit appeal to the Church: first, to learn from young people and then to trust in the potential that each new generation possesses and makes available for the construction of the Kingdom. It puts young Colombians and the local ecclesial community in tune with the 2019 World Youth Day.


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