VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Don’t fall for hate and fearmongering from others; make new friends instead and always help and show concern for others, Pope Francis told the world’s teens.
“Be brave and go against the tide, be friends of Jesus, who is the prince of peace,” he said in a written message for the Jubilee of Mercy for Young People, scheduled to be celebrated in Rome and dioceses around the world April 23-25.
In his written message, released by the Vatican Jan. 14, the pope said the Year of Mercy is open to everyone so they may experience “a time of grace, peace, conversion and joy.”
God invites everyone, he said, because “there are no walls or distances which can prevent the father’s mercy from reaching and embracing us.”
While three days in April have been set aside for those between 13 and 16 years of age, every day of the jubilee year marks “a chance for us to grow in holiness.”
It is also a time to realize “that life together as brothers and sisters is like a great party, perhaps the most beautiful party we can imagine, the endless party that Jesus has taught us to celebrate by his Spirit.”
However, the pope said, “I cannot forget those of you who are living in situations of war, extreme poverty, daily troubles and loneliness. Don’t ever lose hope! The Lord has a great dream which, with your help, he wants to come true.”
Other young people around the world have not forgotten about those who are less fortunate and they “are working for peace and justice for everyone everywhere,” he said.
“Don’t be taken in by the messages of hatred or terror all around us. Instead, make new friends. Give of your time and always show concern for those who ask your help,” he said.
Pope Francis reminded young people that preparing for a pilgrimage or jubilee celebration didn’t just mean getting backpacks and banners ready, “but your hearts and minds as well.”
He urged them to grow closer to Jesus and draw nourishment from the sacraments. Becoming more merciful during the Year of Mercy means not only growing “in a love which is courageous, generous and real,” it is means greater spiritual growth, too.
“You are preparing to be Christians capable of making courageous decisions in order to build daily, even through little things, a world of peace,” he said.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Do me a favor? Pope phones theologian for help at Lent
NEXT: Politics of mercy: Pope knows ‘welcoming the stranger’ is controversial
Share this story