Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The invitation to "lead the way" in the family, as a "community of life and love" and as the first field of education; in Creation, "for the protection and defense of nature and the environment," learning to "eliminate waste"; in the cities, living as "yeast that ferments the dough" and proposing " the Gospel values with joy ": This is what Pope Francis has proposed to Masci (Italian Catholic Movement of Adult Scouts), gathered in the Paul VI on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the their foundation.
Masci members include the director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, who before the Pope's address invited the whole congregation to reaffirm the Scout oath and promise. In his speech in front of over 10 thousand people, wearing the symbolic blue scarf of the scouts, Pope Francis referred extensively to the idea of "being on the streets", a term typical of the Scout movement, as well as the "ecclesial dimension" of the movement. With a neologism, he asked them to travel the streets, but to be "travelers, not wanderers and not quiet".
He called on Christian parents to live out their educational mission relying on the "sacrament of marriage", enhancing dialogue, debate and openness to "other environments of formation, such as the school, parish and associations".
Recalling that the Scout lives "in close contact with nature", Francis said that "our era cannot ignore the ecological question, which is vital for human survival, or reduce it to a purely political issue." Instead, Scouts must live this dimension as "disciples of Christ". "In inanimate nature, in plants and animals - he added - we recognize the imprint of the Creator, and His own image in our fellow man". Thus, in addition to respect for nature, we must also be "committed and contribute positively to eliminate waste in a society that tends to reject things that are usable and that can be donated to those in need".
In "travelling city' streets", the pontiff asked those gathered to "propose the Gospel values with joy". "In a complex and multicultural society, you can witness with simplicity and humility Jesus' love for all people, experimenting with new ways of evangelization, faithful to Christ and faithful to man, who often lives in trying circumstances in the city and sometimes risks getting lost, losing his ability to see the horizon, to feel the presence of God. Then the true compass to offer to these brothers and sisters is a close heart, a heart that is "oriented" towards a sense of God ".
And having said that the Scout formation, "is good training", he recalled that St. Paul (1 Cor 9.24 - 27), speaks of the athletes "train to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one." "The Christian on the other hand - he added - is training to be a good missionary disciple of the Lord Jesus, listening to His Word diligently, always having faith in Him, who never disappoints, dwelling with Him in prayer, trying to be a living stone in the community the Church".
Before greeting the sick and disabled people present, the Pope asked everyone to recite together a Hail Mary: "May Our Lady protect you," he said in conclusion.