By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Continuing to speak of the “serious danger” facing humanity due to the war in Ukraine and the Russian threat to use nuclear weapons, Pope Francis urged a group of young Belgians to be peacemakers.
“As you well know, we are going through difficult times for humanity, which is in great danger. We are in grave danger,” the pope told about 300 young people on a pilgrimage to Rome.
Meeting with the group on October 10, Pope Francis urged them to “be artisans of peace around you and within you; ambassadors of peace, so that the world rediscovers the beauty of love, of living together, of fraternity and of solidarity.
Citing his 2019 apostolic exhortation to young people, the pope said their vocation, like the vocation of all lay people, is to make “a concrete, faith-based commitment to building a new society.” It is about living in the midst of society and the world to carry the Gospel everywhere, to work for the growth of peace, harmony, justice, human rights and mercy, and thus to the extension of the kingdom of God in this world.
Encouraging their commitment to their faith and praising their efforts to share the Gospel with their peers, the pope told them: “You are not only the future of the Church – no, not only that – you are its present . She needs you because the church is young. It needs your generosity, your joy, your desire to build a different world, imbued with the values of fraternity, peace and reconciliation.
In addition to their joy and their enthusiasm, young people naturally have “fears, difficulties, wounds, the need to face their limits, crises”, he says, but they must not be afraid.
If their relationship with Christ is strong, the pope said, they will have a different perspective that will help them see challenges as opportunities for growth.
“Also, he told them, don’t be afraid to accept your fragility or your weaknesses, but do it with humility: ‘These are my limits, but I am moving forward’”.
“You don’t have to be superheroes, but rather sincere, true and free people,” the pope told them.