By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Saturday urged scouts to give of themselves to others by building, serving and caring for others, saying it will free them from within and enrich the world.
He made the exhortation to some 5,000 young scout men and women from over 20 countries belonging to the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe. They met the pope at the end of their Euromoot 2019 event, July 27-August 3, that saw them travelling along historical itineraries of Italy and converging on Rome.
“Give, and it will be given to you”
Noting that during their itinerary, they contemplated Saints Paul, Benedict, Cyril and Methodius, Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena who travelled through Italy, the Pope said they gave their lives for others without keeping anything for themselves. The Pope said that the “Gospel is the map of life” where Jesus indicates a clear course to happiness: “Give, and it will be given to you.”
The Pope said that for Jesus, the starting point is giving, not having. It consists of coming out of the comforts of the armchair and going out to the field to give the world a little bit of goodness.
Rewards of giving
The Pope assured that by giving one is not left empty-handed because when it seems that God is taking something away from you, “it is only to give you something more and better”. Jesus makes you happy from within, not outside, by freeing you from the false promises of consumption.
“One receives only by giving .” This, the Pope said is the secret of life. The latest smartphone, the fastest car or the fashionable dress, besides never being enough, he said, will never give them you the joy of feeling loved and loving.
The Pope expressed appreciation for the scouting term “departure”, whereby scouts take upon themselves to serve as a way of life, living the brotherhood of scouting by being open to the others and doing good. “If you build bridges to others,” he said, “you will see others walk those bridges to you.”
“Look at your hands, that are made to build, to serve and to give and say to yourselves: ‘I care, the other concerns me,’" the Pope urged.
The words of Jesus, “Give, and it will be given to you,” the Pope said, is also applied to creation. “If we take care of it, we will have a home tomorrow too.”.
Creation, he said, is an open book that teaches that we are in the world to meet others, to create communion because we are all connected. “Creation is made to connect with God and among us,” the Pope said, adding, “It is God’s social media.”
Even the love of the scout rovers and rangers for their common homeland, Europe, the Pope said, requires not only attentive observers but active builders of reconciled and integrated societies that give life to a renewed Europe, not as protectors of spaces but as generators of encounters.