Pope Invites Youth to Defend Marriage; to Rebel and Swim Against the Tide
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Pope Invites Youth to Defend Marriage; to Rebel and Swim Against the Tide

 
Pope Francis received gifts from youth
 
The Pope, in one of his final engagements of World Youth Day in Rio, attended a large gathering of volunteers in Rio’s conference centre to thank them for their efforts in making the event such a huge success.  Around 15,000 of the 80,000 volunteers were in attendance and they witnessed a very powerful address from the Holy Father who invited them to swim against the tide; to rebel; and to be revolutionaries.
 
The Pope commented: “With your smiles, your acts of kindness and your willingness to serve, you have shown that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.”
 
In a response to increasing worldwide attacks on marriage and family life he said “some are called to holiness through family life in the sacrament of marriage.  Today, there are those who say marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephermal, many preach the importance of enjoying the moment.  They say it is not worth making a lifelong commitment, making a definitive decision, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.  I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love.  I have confidence in you and pray for you.  Have the courage to swim against the tide.  Have the courage to be happy.”
 
The Pope spoke about how God calls many young men to be priests and many young women to joint he religious life and recalled his own experience of when God called him to the priesthood. 
“I will never forget that day, 21 September – I was 17 years old” he said, “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!”
 
The Pope, in typically animated and passionate manner, concluded his address saying: “Dear friends, I thank you once more for all you have done during these days. Do not forget what you have experienced here! You can always count on my prayers, and I know I can count on yours.”  He was then presented with gifts by some of the young people including a Poland football strip with his name on the back.
 
As this World Youth Day event draws to a close we can safely say, with at least 3 million present in Rio, the Church is in good, faithful and loving hands.  Though World Youth Day has ended; the mission of the youth to evangelise and change the world is only just beginning…
 
 
 
Here is the full text of the Pope’s address (news.va):

Dear Volunteers, Good evening!

I could not return to Rome without first thanking all of you in a personal and affectionate way for the work and dedication with which you have accompanied, helped, and served the thousands of young pilgrims, and for the countless little ways by which you have made this World Youth Day an unforgettable experience of faith. With your smiles, your acts of kindness and your willingness to serve, you have shown that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
The service you have given during these days brings to mind the mission of Saint John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus. Every one of you, each in his or her own way, was a means enabling thousands of young people to “prepare the way” to meet Jesus. And this is the most beautiful service we can give as missionary disciples. To prepare the way so that all people may know, meet and love the Lord. To you who in these days responded with such readiness and generosity to the call to be volunteers for World Youth Day, I say: May you always be generous with God and with others: one loses nothing thereby, but gains great enrichment in life.
God calls you to make definitive choices, and he has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfilment. God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us. Some are called to holiness through family life in the sacrament of Marriage. Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of “enjoying” the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, “for ever”, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage “to swim against the tide”. Have the courage to be happy.
The Lord calls some to be priests, to give themselves to him more fully, so as to love all people with the heart of the Good Shepherd. Some he calls to the service of others in the religious life: devoting themselves in monasteries to praying for the good of the world, and in various areas of the apostolate, giving of themselves for the sake of all, especially those most in need. I will never forget that day, 21 September – 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!
Dear young people, some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: Speak, Lord, for I am listening (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?
Dear friends, I thank you once more for all you have done during these days. Do not forget what you have experienced here! You can always count on my prayers, and I know I can count on yours.
 
 
 

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