“You are led by the desire to go together deeply into the sources of joy,” Pope Francis said in his December 28, 2017, message to the Young People Taking Part in the 40th European Meeting of the Taize Community “It’s the theme that will guide your reflections and enlighten your prayer.”
The message was signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on the Holy Father’s behalf. , The meeting runs through January 1, 2018, in Basel, Switzerland.
“The Pope encourages you to let yourselves be inhabited by this joy, which is born of friendship lived with Jesus and which never closes us to others or to the sufferings of this world,” Cardinal Parolin wrote. “And he invites you to remain connected with the Lord, through prayer and listening to His Word…”
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Dear Young People,
You have come in great numbers from the whole of Europe and also other Continents, to live in Basel, at the crossroads of Switzerland, France, and Germany, the 40th Meeting organized and animated by the Taize Community. And you are led by the desire to go together deeply into the sources of joy. It’s the theme that will guide your reflections and enlighten your prayer. In this perspective, Pope Francis wishes to assure you of his great spiritual closeness. In fact, as he wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, “The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and life of those that encounter Jesus. Those who let themselves be saved by Him are freed from sin, from sadness, from interior emptiness <and> from isolation. With Jesus Christ, Joy is always born and reborn.” (n. 1.) The Holy Father also rejoices to know that you chose to take part in this Meeting to receive and reflect further on the message of Jesus, who is the source of joy for all those that open their heart to Him. And he [the Pontiff] thanks you for having responded to the appeal of the Lord, who gathers you in the joy of His love.
The Pope encourages you to let yourselves be inhabited by this joy, which is born of friendship lived with Jesus and which never closes us to others or to the sufferings of this world. And he invites you to remain connected with the Lord, through prayer and listening to His Word, so that He can help you to deploy your talents to “enhance a culture of mercy, founded on the rediscovery of the encounter with others: a culture in which no one regards the other with indifference or turns away when he sees the sufferings of brothers” (Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera, n. 20).
In the course of the year that is ending, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was recalled. The Pope also asks the Holy Spirit to help you, young Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox, to rejoice and to be enriched by the diversity of gifts made to all Christ’s disciples, to manifest that the joy of the Gospel unites us beyond the wounds that divide us. And he encourages you not to be afraid to follow the path of fraternity so that your meeting at Basel renders visible the joyous communion that springs from the source of the Lord’s brimming heart.
On entrusting you to the Lord so that you can sing with the Virgin Mary the wonders of His love, which is the source of joy, the Holy Father gives heartily his blessing to the young participants in this Meeting, to the Brothers of Taize as well as to all the persons of Switzerland, France and Germany that welcome you.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State of His Holiness
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: French] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]