At a meeting with a group of young people from Italian Catholic Action, Pope Francis called on young people to help those in need during the Christmas season.
The youth met with the Holy Father to present their annual Christmas greeting to the Holy Father.
After thanking the youth for their greeting, the Pope encouraged the Catholic Action Youth to be “living stones in the Church, united in Jesus.” Christmas, he said, is the celebration of God’s presence who came to save us.
“Jesus’ birth isn’t a fable!,” the Pope exclaimed. “It is a story that really happened, at Bethlehem, two thousand years ago. Faith makes us recognize in that Child, born of the Virgin Mary, the true Son of God, who for love of us became man.”
The Pope added that God chose to reveal his strength not through power, but rather, through the “weakness and fragility of a newborn.” The Christmas season is a call to remember the “little ones: the sick, the poor.”
In a moment of dialogue with the youth, the Holy Father confirmed to the youth that Jesus wishes to be their friend while calling on them to transmit the joy of this friendship everywhere.
“And with the enemies, with those that do not wish us well? What should be done? Who can tell me? What should be done? Should we make war?” the Pope asked.
Pray for them,” a young man replied.
“Exactly: pray for them!” the Holy Father said. “So that Jesus may be near them; to be good to them. This should be done: closeness, to be close. And you will be able to give witness by behaving like true Christians: ready to give a hand to anyone in need. And if that person that does not wish you well needs something, will you give them a hand? You are not sure, no? Yes! Yes! Without judging others, without speak ill. It is awful when people speak ill of others. Is gossip Christian or no? No! Is gossip a prayer? Is gossiping like praying or no? No! Gossiping is a bad thing. Gossiping is a bad thing. It should never be done. And we should begin from now: never gossip; without speaking ill. Go forward this way!”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis entrusted the youth and their families to the Blessed Mother and prayed a Hail Mary before imparting his blessing to them.