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Pope Francis has Questions for Youth – Answered by God's Love

‘A love that does not overwhelm or oppress, cast aside or reduce to silence, humiliate or domineer.’

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Pope Francis had many questions for the young people of the world on January 24, 2019. His questions came in remarks at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera for the opening ceremony of World Youth Day 2019 in Panama.
And although the questions were challenging, this was an “open book” test and the Holy Father provided the answers. He spoke of a love that “does not overwhelm or oppress, cast aside or reduce to silence, humiliate or domineer.” Then he asked if the thousands upon thousands of young people gathered before him believe in such a love; does such a love make sense to them?
“This is the same question and invitation that was addressed to Mary,” Pope Francis recalled. “The angel asked her if she wanted to bear this dream in her womb and give it life, to make it take flesh. She answered: ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word'(Lk 1:38).
“Mary found the courage to say ‘yes’ She found the strength to give life to God’s dream. The angel is asking the same thing of each of you, and of me.”
And again, the Holy Father questioned the youth: “Do you want this dream to come alive? Do you want to make it take flesh with your hands, with your feet, with your gaze, with your heart? Do you want the Father’s love to open new horizons for you and bring you along paths never imagined or hoped for, dreamt or expected, making our hearts rejoice, sing and dance?
“Do we have the courage to say to the angel, as Mary did: Behold the servants of the Lord; let it be done?”
The Holy Father gave the answer that generates in the young a positive answer to all these questions: the love of the Lord. He explained that the greatest outcome of World Youth Day won’t be a program or document, but how those attending are changed.
“The most hope-filled result of this meeting will be your faces and a prayer,” Francis said. “Each of you will return home with the new strength born of every encounter with others and with the Lord. You will return home filled with the Holy Spirit so that you can cherish and keep alive the dream that makes us brothers and sisters, and that we must not let grow cold in the heart of our world.”
The Pope also suggested that the world has much to learn from the young people gather for World Youth Day. Although they come from different cultures, have different experiences, look different, and have different life experiences, they are brought together in a spirit of encounter.
“You teach us that encountering one another does not mean having to look alike, or think the same way or do the same things, listening to the same music or wearing the same football jersey,” Francis stressed. “No, not at all… The culture of encounter is a call inviting us to dare to keep alive a shared dream. Yes, a great dream, a dream that has a place for everyone.
“The dream for which Jesus gave his life on the cross, for which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost and brought fire to the heart of every man and woman, in your hearts and mine, in the hope of finding room to grow and flourish. A dream named Jesus, sown by the Father in the confidence that it would grow and live in every heart.”
The Holy Father’s Full Commentary

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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