Pope Francis meeting young people from Belgium in the Clementine Hall  (Vatican Media)

By Lisa Zengarini

Oct 11 2022

Meeting 300 young people from Belgium, Pope Francis encourages them to live out their faith with creativity in the face of difficulties and crises, and says the Church needs their enthusiasm to build a world imbued with the values of fraternity, peace, and reconciliation.

Pope Francis has invited a group of young pilgrims from Belgium to be ambassadors of peace in a broken world, and encouraged them to be creative in the face of difficulties, while always confiding in Jesus, and allowing themselves to be enlightened by the experience of the elderly.

The Church is young

Addressing a group of 300 young people from Belgian parishes in the Clementine Hall on Monday, the Pope praised their commitment and Christian witness in an increasingly secularized and conflictual society.

He said the Church needs their enthusiasm and generosity to build a better and more peaceful world.

“You are not only the future of the Church, but above all her present. She needs you, because the Church is young and needs your generosity, your joy, your will to build a different world, imbued with the values ​​of fraternity, peace, and reconciliation.”

Crises make us grow

In the face of difficulties and crises, which he remarked “make us grow”, Pope Francis invited the young people to cultivate a solid relationship with Christ, calling Him “the faithful friend who never disappoints”. A relationship with Christ, he added, can help us accept our own frailty and weakness “with humility and without fear.”

“You don’t need to be superheroes, but rather sincere, true and free people.”

He also encouraged them to cultivate closeness to their peers, “in particular to those living in precarious situations, young migrants and refugees, youth living in the street, as well as those who experience loneliness and sadness.”

Dialogue with the elderly

Referring to their aspirations for “a true and authentic Church”, Pope Francis reiterated that for them to contribute “to a joyful Christian community” they need to let themselves be enlightened by the advice and testimony of the elderly,  who are “our roots”.

“It is by growing in dialogue with the elderly,” he said, “that we can form a solid personality for our daily struggles. They also transmit their faith and religious convictions to us.”

Be artisans of peace 

One of those struggles “in these difficult times for humanity”, the Holy Father continued, is peace, which can be attained by spreading the Christian values in society.

“Be artisans of peace around you and within you. Be ambassadors of peace, so that the world rediscovers the beauty of love, of living together, of fraternity, of solidarity.”

Never tire of being bearers of the Gospel

He therefore invited the Belgian pilgrims not be afraid of challenges and “never tire of being bearers of the Gospel” wherever they go, without being distracted by the many trivialities of life, but rather “focusing on the essential, which comes from our friendship with Jesus Christ.”

In conclusion, the Pope entrusted them to the maternal care of the Virgin Mary, and highlighted the importance of praying the Rosary “a school of prayer and life”. – Vatican News