Pope Francis today gave young people a task for the holidays and beyond: to talk with and listen to their grandparents.
The Pope presented this assignment to young people of Italian Catholic Action, whom he received in audience today for an exchange of Christmas greetings.
The Pope told the youth to remember that Jesus’ birth — just as the angels said — is a “great joy.”
This joy flows from “the discovery that God loves us and, through Jesus’ birth, has made Himself close to us to save us,” he said. “We are loved by God. What a wonderful thing! When we are a bit sad, when everything seems to go awry, when a boy or girl friend disappoints us – or, also, we disappoint ourselves! – let us think: ‘God loves me; God doesn’t abandon me.’ Yes, boys and girls, our Father is always faithful to us and does not cease to go after us when we distance ourselves somewhat. Therefore, in a Christian’s heart there is always joy, always!”
The Holy Father exhorted the youth to share this joy, since “joy multiplies by sharing it!” He encouraged them to “infect” others with joy.
Then the Pope moved on to giving the youth what he called “a task.”
“This contagious joy is to be shared with all, but in a special way — and this is the task — with grandparents,” he said. “Think well about this: this joy is shared with all, but in a special way with grandparents. Speak often with your grandparents; they also have this contagious joy. Ask them so many things, listen to them, they have the memory of history, the experience of life, and this will be a great gift for you which will help you on your journey. They also need to listen to you, grandparents also need you; they need to listen to you, to understand your aspirations, your hopes.”
The Pope had the kids repeat back to him the task, which they did.
He then encouraged them to make peace contagious as well.
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