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Synod of Bishops 2018: Letter to Youth

A Secret for Increasing Joy in Life

An Encounter that changed life

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Youth

YOUR LIFE IS THE GREATEST GIFT FROM GOD

Life is a precious gift and it comes to us with its challenges.

Do you know that the welfare of the world around you can be better because of you?


Do you like to walk on the footsteps of people who made the world a better one?


Do you realise that your life would become very interesting and fulfilling?

Pope’s message for Diocesan World Youth Day 2017

 

My Dear Young Friends,
I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart.

Today, the Preparatory Document is being presented, a document which I am also entrusting to you as your “compass” on this synodal journey.


Hear God's Voice
I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you”. (Gen 12.1). These words are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to “go”, to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God's voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.

When God said to Abraham, “Go!”, what did He want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abraham received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this “new land” for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?

But unfortunately, today, “Go!” also has a different meaning, namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee your native land. Your cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh (cf. Ex 2:23).

Jesus Looks at You!
I would also remind you of the words that Jesus once said to the disciples who asked Him: “Teacher [...] where are you staying?” He replied, “Come and see” (Jn 1:38). Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with Him. Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey?

I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God's plan in your life. Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich in mercy, will extend His hand to pick you up.

A Better World Can Be Built
A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit Who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls. St. Benedict urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because “the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.” (Rule of St. Benedict, III, 3).

Such is the case, even in the journey of this Synod. My brother bishops and I want even more to “work with you for your joy” (2 Cor 1:24). I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like yourselves, whom God beheld lovingly, so she might take your hand and guide you to the joy of fully and generously responding to God’s call with the words: “Here I am” (cf. Lk 1:38).

With paternal affection,
FRANCIS

To read the "Preparatory Document  Click Here