“Let us entrust this time to the maternal protection of Our Lady.”
During his homily for the Holy Mass opening the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “Young people, faith, and vocational discernment” today, Oct. 3, 2018 in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said this, as he stressed how hope pushes us beyond our challenges and to do the incredible.
“Anointed by hope, let us begin a new ecclesial meeting,” the Pope said, calling for one “that can broaden our horizons, expand our hearts and transform those frames of mind that today paralyze, separate and alienate us from young people, leaving them exposed to stormy seas, orphans without a faith community that should sustain them, orphans devoid of a sense of direction and meaning in life.”
At the start of this “moment of grace for the whole Church,” and following God’s word, the Pope said, we ask the Paraclete to help us preserve the memory of the Lord and rekindle in us his words that have made our hearts burn.
“A Gospel ardor and passion which lead to an ardor and passion for Jesus,” he said, adding: “A memory that can rekindle and renew in us the capacity to dream and to hope.”
Young people, he noted, will only be capable of prophesy and vision, if we adults and elderly can dream to and share and transmit such dreams and hopes “which we carry in our hearts” to them.
Hope, the Pontiff highlighted, “asks us to get up and look directly into the eyes of young people and see their situations,” and “asks us to make efforts to reverse situations of uncertainty, exclusion and violence, to which our young people are exposed.”
Having been formed by so many choices taken in the past, the Holy Father highlighted, young people now call us to join them in facing the present with greater commitment and to work against whatever prevents their lives from growing in a dignified way.
“They ask us and demand of us a creative dedication, a dynamism which is intelligent, enthusiastic and full of hope. They ask us not to leave them alone in the hands of so many pedlars of death who oppress their lives and darken their vision,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded, praying: “May the Spirit grant us the grace to be synodal Fathers anointed with the gift of dreaming and of hoping. We will then, in turn, be able to anoint our young people with the gift of prophecy and vision.”
“Dear Synod Fathers, the Church looks to you with confidence and love,” he said.
This Mass officially opens the Synod of Bishops on Young People. There will be two sessions a day, Mondays through Saturdays, until the 28th. The first session begins this afternoon.
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