FOR THE WORLD MEETING OF INDIGENOUS YOUTH
[Soloy-Panama, 17-21 January 2019]
Dear young people,
At the end of the World Youth Day in Krakow, in July 2016, I told the young volunteers: "We remember our past to build hope with courage". And it is the motto that you have chosen for this World Meeting of Indigenous Youth that brought you from 17 to 21 January this year (pre-WYD day), in Soloy, Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé, Diocese of David, in Panama .
I congratulate you because it is the first time that a pre-GMG meeting is organized specifically for the young people of the indigenous peoples, of the original peoples, at world level. An initiative for which I would like to thank the Indigenous Pastoral Section of the Episcopal Conference of Panama, supported by CELAM.
Dear young people, I invite you to ensure that this meeting, which brings together hundreds of young people from different original peoples, serves to reflect and celebrate your faith in Jesus Christ, starting from the millenary richness of your original cultures. I urge you to make it an opportunity to respond to the invitation made on other occasions to you young people to be grateful for the history of your peoples and courageous in the face of the challenges that surround you, to move forward with hope in the construction of the another world possible. Return to the cultures of the origins. Take charge of the roots, because from the roots comes the force that will make you grow, flourish and bear fruit. Furthermore, it must be a way to show the indigenous face of our Church within WYD and to affirm our commitment to protect the Common Home and to collaborate in the construction of another possible, fairer and more humane world.
Without a doubt, the themes that, according to the agenda, will be the object of your reflection, will stimulate the search for answers, from the Gospel perspective, to many and scandalous situations of marginalization, exclusion, waste and impoverishment to which millions of young people they are condemned, especially the youth of the original peoples, in the world. May your action, the consciousness of belonging to your peoples, be a reaction against this culture of waste, against this culture of root oblivion, projected towards an increasingly liquid, gaseous, groundless future.
Boys and girls, take charge of your cultures! Take charge of your roots! But do not stop there. From those roots, grow, flower, fruit. A poet used to say that "what the tree has in bloom, comes from what it has buried". The roots. But roots facing the future. Project in the future. This is the challenge that awaits you today.
It will be a pleasure for me to meet you in Panama. And waiting for that moment to come, I wish you the best success in your meeting and I give you my blessing.
God bless you!