Pope Francis Tells Youth "I encourage you to live in daily entrustment to the Virgin Mary, who will also help you grow as a team, sharing the gifts received in a spirit..." FULL TEXT

Clementina room
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Dear young people, dear spouses and assistant priests,
good morning and welcome!
I greet you all and I thank Maria Theresa, International Manager, for the words of greeting and the presentation of the reasons that brought you to Rome. You wanted to hear from the Pope's mouth that Holy Mother Church loves you and is counting on you. That's it! The Church loves what Jesus loved, and in the Gospel we read that one day her gaze was fixed on the face of a young man, "she loved him" (Mk 10:21) and called him to follow him in his mission. Unfortunately, that young man did not accept the invitation. But others welcomed him, allowed themselves to be conquered and "remained with him" (Jn 1:39). The same gaze of love of Jesus crosses the centuries, from generation to generation, and reaches us, up to each of you.
This is why it can be said that every young person is a hope for Jesus: a hope of friendship, a hope of journey together, a hope of mission together. And therefore each of you is also a hope for the Church. In a particular way, you are so for that ecclesial reality called Équipe Notre-Dame, a good proposal for couples and families. You are young people and, according to your Statutes, you intend to live in accordance with the principles of Catholic doctrine, deepening your knowledge, in such a way as to grow in your relationship with Christ and the Virgin Mary, and feel sent on a mission in the daily life (cf. Art. 11, a). Now I would like to reflect a little with you on the three words that make up your name: team, Notre-Dame and young people.
You experience as a team, as a group. This is a gift, it cannot be taken for granted! Being part of a community, of a family of families that transmits a lived faith is a great gift! Nobody can say: "I save myself". No. We are all in a relationship, to learn how to team up. God wanted to enter into this dynamic of relationships and draws us to himself in community, giving our life a full sense of identity and belonging (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, 6). Because the Lord saves us by making us a people, his people. Don't let the world make you think it's best to go alone. Alone, you can perhaps achieve some success, but without love, without company, without belonging to a people, without the priceless experience that is to dream together, risk together, suffer together and party together.
Don't be afraid to open up, to take risks; and don't be afraid of others. It is true that there is bullying, abuse, lies, betrayal, but - believe me - the problem is not defending myself from others; my concern must be to defend the victims. On the site of the attack in Barcelona - we are in 2017 - there was a note in which a young man had drawn a very small boy and a large monster, with this caption: "Here we are and fear". And then he commented: “Neither fear is so great, nor am I so small. I'm not afraid". Because? Why wasn't that young man afraid? Because he was not alone, he was with someone who loved him: his family, his friends, perhaps God, Father and Friend whom he never abandons. In this age of the virtual and the consequent loneliness in which many of your peers fall, you have chosen to grow as a team, in a group. Go ahead, build bridges, play as a team! Understood? In team.
The second word is Notre-Dame. You are young - we read in the Preamble of the Statutes - «characterized by a strong devotion to Our Lady, with the desire, following her example and placing oneself under her maternal protection, to understand Mary's privileged place in the mystery of Christ and salvation". It is like this: when you welcome Mary, the Mother, into your life, you never lose the center, which is the Lord. Because Mary never points to herself, but to Jesus and her brothers. Mary doesn't know how to do this [points to himself]. Never. She always does this [points to the other]. What are you looking at? She always does that. Jesus. He points to another: “go to him”. But so [points to himself] she never does. And we often do so, believing that we are the center of the world, of salvation. Always pointing to Jesus. And Our Lady teaches us a lot. When one welcomes Mary, the Mother, into one's life, one never loses the center, which is the Lord. It will do you good to often think of the words Jesus said on the cross when addressing John: "Behold your mother!" (Jn 19:27). Listen to these words in your heart and hear them addressed to you, to each one of you, each to himself. It is exactly like this: Jesus gave his Mother as the Mother of every disciple; and she said "yes", like the first day, she said "fiat", "amen", and she became the Mother of the Church. We can entrust ourselves to her with the trust of the child, of the poor, of the simple one who knows that her Mother is close to him, with care and tenderness.
I encourage you to live in daily entrustment to the Virgin Mary, who will also help you grow as a team, sharing the gifts received in a spirit of dialogue and mutual acceptance. She will help you to have a generous heart, to discover the joy of service in gratuitousness, as she did when she went to St. Elizabeth. The theme of the next World Youth Day, which will be in Lisbon in August of next year, is taken from this episode of the Gospel: "Mary got up and went quickly" (Lk 1:39). There is a "title" of the Madonna that I like very much. There is the Madonna del Carmine, the Immaculate Madonna, many titles ... I like "Our Lady in a hurry", who wastes no time to help: she is always doing things to help, as she did with St. Elizabeth: "Mary yes he got up and went quickly ”. Getting up to serve, going out to take care of others and of creation: these are typical values ​​of young people. I urge you to practice them as you prepare for WYD in Lisbon. And among you there are several young Portuguese! Raise your hand, the Portuguese! You work, you work with the Auxiliary Bishop, who is a good one, that one, he is a good one and he will make you work a lot!
And the third word is youth. The future belongs to young people. Be careful though! Young people with two qualities: young people with wings and with roots. With wings to fly and roots to stay on the ground. The wings to fly, dream, create; and the roots to receive from the elders the wisdom they offer you. United at the roots, united with the grandparents. I ask a question, everyone is answered later: do you talk to grandparents? Are you going to find them? Do you listen to them, your grandparents, or do you say “it's old stuff, you don't need it”? They are your roots, and if you are unable to talk to grandparents you will not be able to fly. Then you can try to ask yourself: how are my wings? Is my gaze turned down, turned in on myself, or do I know how to look up at the horizon? Are there dreams, plans, great desires in my heart, or is it full of complaints, negative thoughts, judgments and prejudices? And when a young man complains, he seeks the anesthesia of having things, things of the latest model, of having this, that other ..., that fantasy of having. And that makes you heavy and doesn't let you fly. And then you can also ask yourself: how are my roots going? Do I think the world starts with me, or do I feel part of a great river that has come a long way? If I'm lucky enough to still have my grandparents, how is my relationship with them? Do I speak to them? Can I listen to them? Do I sometimes ask you to tell me something important about their life? Do I treasure their wisdom? Look up but with the roots. And the sign that the roots are good is if you know how to understand and approach grandparents and talk to grandparents.
And finally, I see that you are not all young, and I would also like to say a word to you adults, married couples and assistant priests. I think it is a great joy for you to welcome and accompany these young people. May you be witnesses to them, with humility and simplicity. Witnesses of love for Christ and the Church, witnesses of listening and dialogue, witnesses of gratuitous and generous service, witnesses of prayer. Thank you for your presence alongside young people: for the time and care you dedicate to them.
Thank you all for coming, and for letting me know the reality of the young people of Équipe Notre-Dame up close. The Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you. Good walk! And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you!
Source: Vatican.va