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In Lenten Message, Pope Tells Young People God Gives Joy More Than World Ever Can

Francis Urges Them to Do Good for Sake of Doing Good, as God Sees, Rewards All

“Living in the presence of the Father gives us a much deeper joy than worldly glory can give us.”

Pope Francis said this in an audio-message he sent this morning to the young people of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii.

This marks the first contribution in the shrine’s youth ministry office’s  ‘Keep Lent’ initiative, which will involve clergy and catechists providing, via social media, the day’s Gospel and a commentary during Lent.

In the message, Francis urged young people to keep an attitude of “living in secret where the Father sees us, loves us and waits for us,” and doing good things for no reason other than that Jesus asks us to do good for the sake of good, and not for other reasons.

“Naturally,” he added, “exterior things are important too, but we must always choose to live in the presence of God.”

The Holy Father prayed, “Let us do what we can, in prayer, in sacrifice, and in acts of charity, humbly before God,” so we will be worthy of God’s reward.

Below is a Vatican Radio-provided translation of Pope Francis’ audio-message.

***

Dear young people,

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be careful not to practice your good works before men to be seen by them”… “When you give to the poor do not sound a trumpet before you”… “Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”.

The Word of God gives us the right perspective in which to live Lent well. When we do something good, sometimes we are tempted to seek praise and to be rewarded: that’s human glory. But it’s a false reward because it makes us focus on what others think of us.

Jesus asks us to do good for the sake of good. He asks us to feel we are under the watchful gaze of our Heavenly Father at all times and to live in relationship with Him – not in relationship with the opinion of others.

Living in the presence of the Father gives us a much deeper joy than worldly glory can give us. May our attitude this Lent be one of living in secret where the Father sees us, loves us and waits for us. Naturally, exterior things are important too, but we must always choose to live in the presence of God.

Let us do what we can, in prayer, in sacrifice, and in acts of charity, humbly before God. This way we will be worthy of God the Father’s reward.

I wish you a blessed Lent.

May Our Lady of Pompeii accompany you and, please, pray for me

[Original text: Italian] [Translation provided by Vatican Radio]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

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