VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Tuesday met with more than 50,000 altar servers on an annual pilgrimage to Rome from Germany, urging them to bring Jesus to the world, especially those outside of the Church.
“You are called to speak of Jesus to your contemporaries, not only those within your parishes or associations, but especially to those outside,” he told the altar servers after a vespers prayer service on Aug. 5.
He stressed that they must make it a priority to remember God, the giver of life, who loves each person.
The Pope arrived in St. Peter’s Square at 6pm Rome time for vespers. He greeted some of the altar servers before the prayers.
His homily was a reflection on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.
“Through this concrete man, by the name of Jesus, we can understand what God really meant,” he said. “He wants to free human beings, so that they might always feel protected as children of a good father.”
Pope Francis also noted the importance of the Virgin Mary in bringing the Son of God into the world.
“Mary was totally free,” he said. “In her freedom she said, ‘Yes.’ She always did good; so she served God and human beings. Let us imitate her example if we want to know what God expects of us as his children.”
The Pope noted the difficulties that many young people have in balancing service to the Church with other activities “necessary for human and cultural growth.”
This takes some organizing, he said, and then joked, “But you are Germans, and you do this well!”
The altar servers’ pilgrimage took its motto from Matthew 12: “Freedom! Because it is lawful to do good.”