APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO MOZAMBIQUE

4 - 6 SEPTEMBER 2019   INTERRELIGIOUS MEETING WITH YOUTH

 

PopeMozambiqueThank you very much for your words of welcome. I thank all of you for your fine artistic performances. Thank so much! 

You thanked me for having taken time to be with you. But what could be more important than for a shepherd than to be with his flock?  ... You are important! You need to know this. ... You are important! But be humble, too. You are not only the future of Mozambique, or of the Church and of humanity. You are their present. You are Mozambique’s present!

In everything that you are and do, you are even now contributing to this present by offering the best of yourselves today. Without your enthusiasm, your songs, your joie de vivre, without young people, what would this land be like? Watching you sing, laugh and dance amid all your difficulties is – as you were just telling us – the best sign that you, young people, are the joy of this land, the joy of our time and the hope of the future.

This joie de vivre is what distinguishes you as young people. A shared and celebrated joy, a joy that reconciles and becomes the best remedy against all those who want to create dissension among you. Attention: they want to create division and conflict among you. How much the lack of that joie de vivre of yours is felt in some parts of our world! While in others, they feel the joy of being united, living together, with different religious confessions, but all as children of the same land, living as one.

Reconciliation

I thank the members of different religious confessions who have joined us, and those who do not belong to any particular religious tradition. Thank you PopeMozambique1for encouraging one another to live and celebrate today the challenge of peace as the family that we are. You are experiencing that all of us are necessary: with our differences, we are all necessary.
Our differences are necessary. Together, you are the beating heart of this people and all of you have a fundamental role to play in one great creative project: to write a new page of history, a page full of hope, peace and reconciliation. Do you want to write this page? When I entered, you chanted, “Reconciliation!”

You asked me two questions, which in my mind are related. One of them was: “How do we make young people’s dreams come true?” The other was: “How do we get young people involved in the problems that plague the country?” Today you yourselves showed us the way. You gave us the answer to these questions.

You have expressed it with art and music, and all the cultural treasures that you displayed with such pride. You expressed some of your dreams and realities. In all of this, we see a variety of ways to bring the world together and to look to the horizon: with eyes ever full of hope, full of the future, full of dreams.

You have great strength and you are able to look ahead with immense hope. You are a promise of life, and you have a tenacity (cf. Christus Vivit, 139) that you must never lose or let anyone steal from you.

Resignation and anxiety

PopeMozambique2How do you make your dreams come true? How do you help solve your country’s problems? My words to you are these. Do not let yourselves be robbed of joy. Keep singing and expressing yourselves in fidelity to all the goodness that you have learned from your traditions. Let no one rob you of your joy! I told you that there are many ways to look at the horizon, many ways to look at our world, at the present and the future.

But be on guard against two attitudes that kill dreams and hope. What are they? Resignation and anxiety. Resignation and anxiety: two attitudes that rob us of hope. How many empty promises of happiness end up ruining lives! ! Surely you know friends or acquaintances – or have even experienced it yourselves – that in difficult and painful times, when everything seems to be falling apart, it is easy to give up. You have to be very careful, because this attitude “makes you take the wrong road.

An old proverb says: “If you want to get somewhere in a hurry, walk alone; if you want to go far, walk with others”. ...Dream with others, never against others.

For example, you have before your eyes that beautiful testimony given by Maria Mutola, who learned to persevere, to keep trying, even though she did not attain the goal of a gold medal in her first three Olympic Games. Then, on her fourth attempt, this 800-metre athlete won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. One attempt after another. Her efforts did not make her self-absorbed; her nine world titles did not make her forget her people, her roots: she continued to look out for the needy children of Mozambique. We see how sport teaches us to persevere in our dreams!

I would like to add another important thing: no anxiety, no resignation, but now here is something else that is important: pay attention to your elders. The elderly can help you keep your dreams and aspirations from fading, from faltering at the first experience of difficulty or powerlessness. They are our roots.

Let me leave you with a final thought: God loves you, and this is something on which all our religious traditions are agreed. “For him, you have worth; PopeMozambique5you are not insignificant. You are important to him, for you are the work of his hands. Because he loves you. Try to keep still for a moment and let yourself feel his love.

Try to silence all the noise within, and rest for a second in his loving embrace” (Christus Vivit, 115). Let us do that right now [a moment of silence].

The love of the Lord. It has to do more with raising up than knocking down, with reconciling than forbidding, with offering new changes than condemning, with the future than the past” (ibid., 116). I know that you believe in this love that makes reconciliation possible.

Thank you and, please, do not forget to pray for me. God bless you all.                                               

 

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