Pope Francis with members of Italian Catholic Action Pope Francis with members of Italian Catholic Action 

Pope Francis exhorts young people put themselves on the line

In his prepared remarks to the young members of Italian Catholic Action, Pope Francis reiterates the importance of “teaming up” in a world that tends to isolate and divide people.

By Edoardo Giribaldi

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19). Pope Francis introduced his prepared remarks to the young members of Catholic Action recalling Jesus' exhortation "to every Christian in every age."

The Pope expressed his gratitude to the National President of Italian Catholic Action, Giuseppe Notarstefano; the Assistant General, Bishop Gualtiero Sigismondi; and the Catholic Action leaders and the educators, all working for younger generations' "human and Christian growth."

Pope Francis focused on the verb used by Jesus: "Go!" A crucial indication, capable of "transforming the disciple into an apostle," making him a missionary. "And you too, dear friends, are called to go, because God doesn't like it when we stay lazy on the couch."

Look for each other

The indication of "going" might raise another question: Where? Toward whom? "Toward others," Pope Francis said, "toward, as Jesus says in the Gospel, all people, excluding no one."


The Pope stressed the risk for young generations to spend their days retreating into their shells, with their eyes stuck on their phones.

"Our eyes," the Pope explained, "are made to look at each other. Not to look below to a virtual world that we keep in our hands, but to look up to the sky, to God, and in the eyes of the people living beside us."

Find life's true beauty

Our eyes become, therefore, one of the first mediums to transmit "the joy that we've experienced when we got to know Jesus," the Pope remarked. "That friendship that transforms our existence, makes us embrace life, and allows us to find its true beauty."

“It's good to follow Jesus; it's good to discover the great love He has for each one of us; it's good to venture into the project of happiness He has planned for me, for you, for everyone; it's good to discover the gifts He gives us with great generosity, the surprises that fill our lives with wonder and hope, that make us grow free and happy.”

"Get out on the field"

To witness the love of God, it is fundamental to "go out on the field," Pope Francis stated. "Not individually, but together, as a group. It is essential, in other words, to team up, to discover ourselves as brothers and sisters in a world that tends to isolate, divide, and set us against each other."

“The secret is really to take care of others. And so you also take care of yourself.”

"That's the spirit that overcomes indifference," the Pope affirmed. Thinking about "the little ones, the poor, the forgotten, the discarded, those no one cares about" is the secret to making our world "more beautiful, just, and peaceful."

“We don't have to be scared of getting out on the field, to put ourselves on the line: 'Go,' Jesus tells you every day, 'Don't stop and never be scared, because I will always be with you.'”

Walk with God

This is also the message, according to the Pope, that the upcoming Christmas celebrations are capable of bringing: "God enters in the world and gives us the strength to move forward, to walk with Him." With His advent, He became "our traveling companion. And He will never, ever abandon us."

"He looks forward," Pope Francis said, "to accompanying us in our affairs, in all the affairs of life, to help us discover the meaning of the journey, the meaning of the every day. To infuse us with courage in trials and pain. To lift us up after every fall and protect us in the midst of every storm."

“Is it not good to walk with such a God, with a God who is our friend, the Friend whom we can always trust?”

"So go, dear friends! May the vivacity and talents that each of you has - we all have them, no one is without great talents. Let us not forget that! - be available to all and bear fruit" Pope Francis said, before concluding his prepared remarks with a blessing for those present and with best wishes for a joyful Christmas.

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15 December 2022, 12:20