06 Pope Francis: A Dream named Jesus

posted Jan 30, 2019, 9:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 9:33 AM ]
Pope Francis on Thursday, January 24, presided over the Official Welcome and Opening Ceremony of World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. This is the full text of his speech addressed to the crowds gathered at the Santa Marta La Antigua Field in Panama City.

Dear Young People, good evening! How good it is to get together again, this time in a land that receives us with such radiance and warmth! As we gather in Panama, World Youth Day is once more a celebration of joy and hope for the whole Church, and for the world, a witness of faith.

I remember that in Krakow, several people asked me if I was going to be in Panama, and I told them: "I don't know, but certainly Peter will be there. Peter is going to be there." Today, I am happy to say to you: Peter is with you, to celebrate and renew you in faith and hope. Peter and the Church walk with you, and we want to tell you not to be afraid, to go forward with the same fresh energy and restlessness that helps make us happier and more available, better witnesses to the Gospel. To go forward, not to create a parallel Church that would be more "fun" or "cool" thanks to a fancy youth event, as if that were all you needed or wanted. That way of thinking would not respect either you or everything that the Spirit is saying through you.

Not at all! With you, we want to rediscover and reawaken the Church's constant freshness and youth, opening ourselves to a new Pentecost (cf. SYNOD ON YOUNG PEOPLE, Final Document, 60). As we experienced at the Synod, this can only happen if, by our listening and sharing, we encourage each other to keep walking and to bear witness by proclaiming the Lord through service to our brothers and sisters, and concrete service at that.

I know getting here was not easy. I know how much effort and sacrifice was required for you to participate in this Day. Many weeks of work and commitment, and encounters of reflection and prayer, have made the journey itself largely its own reward. A disciple is not merely someone who arrives at a certain place, but one who sets out decisively, who is not afraid to take risks and keeps walking. This is the great joy: to keep walking. You have not been afraid to take risks and to keep journeying. Today, we were all able to "get here" because for some time now, in our various communities, we have all been "on the road" together.

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