Activities for the Jubilee for Young People concluded today in Rome. Among the events was a confession service Saturday, during which Pope Francis surprised the teens by pulling up a chair in St. Peter’s Square with other priests and heard a handful of confessions.
He also sent a video message for the jubilee. Here is a ZENIT translation of the text:
Dear Girls and Boys, good evening!
You are gathered for a moment of celebration and joy. I am unable to come and I’m sorry, and I decided to greet you with this video. It would have pleased me so much to be able to come to the Stadium, but I am unable to do so.
I thank you for having accepted the invitation to come to celebrate the Jubilee here at Rome. This morning you transformed Saint Peter’s Square into a great confessional and then you crossed the Holy Door. Do not forget that the Door indicates an encounter with Christ, who introduces us to the love of the Father and asks us to become merciful, as He is merciful.
Then tomorrow, we will celebrate Mass together. It was right that space be given to be together with joy and to hear some important testimonies, which can help you to grow in faith and in life.
I know that you have a bandana with the works of corporal mercy written on it: put these works on your head, because they are the style of Christian life. As you know, the works of mercy are simple gestures, which belong to everyday life, enabling you to recognize Jesus’ face in the face of many persons, young people too! Also young people like you, who are hungry, thirsty; who are refugees and foreigners or sick and ask for our help, for our friendship.
To be merciful means also to be able to forgive. And this isn’t easy! It can happen at times that in the family, at school, in the parish, in the gymnasium or in recreation places someone can do us wrong and we feel offended; or in some moment of nervousness we can be the ones who offend others. We don’t remain with resentment or the desire for revenge! It’s futile: it is a worm that eats our soul and does not enable us to be happy. We forgive! We forgive the wrong received, so we can understand Jesus’ teaching and be His disciples and witnesses of mercy.
Young people, how many times it happens that I must telephone friends, but I am unable to get in touch because there is no signal. I’m sure it also happens to you, that in some places your mobile doesn’t work. Well, remember that if Jesus is not in your life, it’s as if there isn’t signal! Unable to speak, one shuts oneself in oneself. Let us put ourselves always where it works! The family, the parish, the school, because in this world we will always have something to say that is good and true.
Now I greet you all, I hope you will live this moment with joy and I expect you all tomorrow in Saint Peter’s Square. Bye!
[Original text: Italian]
[Translation by ZENIT