Pope Francis has given young people three tools for how to be good witnesses to the Gospel and has called on them to say yes to the Lord.
Speaking in English to the young people of Asia gathered at the Shrine of Solmoe in the South Korean Diocese of Daejeon, he posed a question: “Are you ready to say “yes” to him? Are you ready?”
After creative expressions, skits, and testimonies given to the Pope leading up to his second English address of his apostolic visit to South Korea, the Holy Father repeatedly reminded them that the “Lord is counting on you!”
From the moment of Baptism, “he entered your hearts,” he said. “He gave you his Spirit on the day of your Confirmation,” and he strengthens you “constantly by his presence in the Eucharist, so that you can be his witnesses before the world.”
He then told them three ways they can do so: prayer, the Eucharist, and works.
Rather than elaborate on each of these, the Holy Father, after reading a fraction of his discourse scripted in English, said: “Are you tired?”. He added he had had a conversation with a “dear friend” yesterday who said that when you speak to young people, “you should be spontaneous” and “speak from the heart.” Given this, the Holy Father went on to improvise the majority of the rest of his words to the young people.
He stressed that in any vocation one can do good for others, whether it is in religious life or as a layperson. If you are thinking, “What should I choose?" the Pope responded, “You do not have to choose any path. The Lord must choose!”
You must ask Him: ‘Lord, what should I do?’ This is the question that I had done at your age. This is the prayer that a young man has to do. The Pope told the young people to ask “Lord what do you want from me?”, and to repeat it three times.
In response to one girl’s reflection on the divided Koreas, the Pope said the peninsular is divided, but are one “family,” and gave advice and a hope.
The advice, he said, is to pray for North Korea, and he asked them to join in pray for both Koreas. The hope is that one day they can be a family again.
“Who knows what awaits us in life?,” he continued. “Things in life can be really terrible. But, please, do not despair. There is the Father who awaits us.”
Speaking on the parable of the prodigal son, which the young people performed, he reminded them that no matter how great your sin is, “Come back,” and “your Father will have a great celebration.”
He stressed God never gets tired of forgiving his children.
Explaining how a young person can “understand whether they really love God,” he said: “If you love your neighbor, if you do not have hate in your heart, that is a sure proof that you love God.”
On Zenit’s Web page:
Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-young-people-of-asia