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BY JEANETTE DE MELO
Today Pope Francis gave five addresses in less than 10 hours. In his final day in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day, he did not disappoint. He is known for his crisp, clear and emphatic words, spoken in down-to-earth language (sometimes even making new words, but that’s a story for another day).
What follows are the words he spoke to the youth of the world today, often shouting them out and using his hands to make his point. The youth responded with equal emotion. But these words aren’t solely for the young. They are for all of us. Let’s take them to heart! And pass them along.
“Jesus is calling you to be a disciple with a mission! … Careful, though! Jesus did not say: ‘If you would like to, if you have the time,’ but: ‘Go!’” (Homily at closing Mass)
“The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you. … Do you know what the best tool is for evangelizing the young? Another young person. This is the path to follow!” (Homily at closing Mass)
“Bringing the Gospel is bringing God’s power to pluck up and break down evil and violence … selfishness, intolerance and hatred, so as to build a new world. Jesus Christ is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! The Pope is counting on you!” (Homily at closing Mass)
On marriage in the face of a culture that thinks a lifelong commitment is “out of fashion”:
“Be revolutionaries. ... Yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporal and ultimately thinks you are incapable of responsibility, incapable of true love. I am confident in you, and I pray for you. Have the coverage to swim against the tide!” (Speech to volunteers)
On vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life:
“I will never forget that day, Sept. 21 – I was 17 years old – when, after stopping in the Church of San José de Flores to go to confession, I first heard God calling me. Do not be afraid of what God asks of you! It is worth saying ‘Yes’ to God. In him we find joy!” (Speech to volunteers)
Which of Pope Francis' words have struck you most?