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Pope to youth of the Holy Land: Look to the horizon!

In a message to the Christian Media Center, Pope Francis speaks to the young people of Bethlehem and the Holy Land, urging them to remain faithful to their roots in the land where Jesus was born and to always look to the horizon.

By Christopher Wells

In the face of sufferings, made worse in these days by the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has invited the young people of the Holy Land to “Look ahead! Look to the horizon.”

The Holy Father took the opportunity to speak with the youth in a video message recorded earlier this month during his visit to Cyprus. “I am close to you, on the other shore,” he said, assuring them that they are constantly in his thoughts.

A promise that never disappoints

He recognized that, “at times, you do not know what to do, at times you think that there is no future there and that is why you meditate on emigrating elsewhere.” But he encouraged them to not allow themselves “to be taken in by these negative thoughts.”

“Look ahead, look at the horizon! There is always a horizon in life . . . There is always promise beyond, and when the promise is guaranteed by the word of God, it never disappoints.”

When confronted with difficulties, he said, we have two options: we can lower our gaze, or we can look to the horizon. “Try to look to the horizon!” Pope Francis repeated. “There is always promise beyond,” he continued, adding that “when the promise is guaranteed by the word of God, it never disappoints.”

Be rooted in history and bet on the future

The Pope invited the young people of the Holy Land to commit themselves to their land, to their country, to their history, and pursue the human vocation God has given them. “Do not give up, always look ahead, do not abandon the dream of building, of advancing your people, of growing your roots, your cultural wealth, your religious wealth!”

He reminded them of the hope that comes from Christmas, pointing to the example of the Magi who recognised the newborn Child as the Son of God, and took a risk. That, Pope Francis said is, “why I say to you: in the midst of poverty, in a time of wars, of limitations, of barriers, of lack of freedom, think of the crib of Jesus. And just as He did what He did from a manger, you, too, in situations of contradiction, can do great things! Bet on the future, dare! And you will see how God will bless you.”

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24 December 2021, 10:42