At the general audience, Pope Francis speaks of the encounter with Jesus as a source of joy, vocation, and mission. Jesus "appears to ignite hearts." "What youth is a happy youth, without a search for meaning? Young people who are looking for nothing are not young, they age before their time. " "Do not give credence to disappointed and unhappy people." A Message together with Patriarch Bartholomew I to ask everyone to "take a respectful and responsible attitude towards creation" and to the powerful "to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who are most affected by ecological imbalances.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "A disciple of the Kingdom of God who is without joy cannot evangelize this world": This is one of the cornerstones of the talk that Pope Francis gave today at the general audience with more than 30,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on the theme "The memory of vocation revives hope".
At the end of the audience, the Pontiff reminded that on the occasion of the Day for the Care of Creation, which is celebrated on 1 September, together with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I he has written a message inviting "everyone to adopt a respectful and responsible attitude toward Creation" and asks "those who occupy influential roles "," to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most from the ecological imbalances ".
The Pope's catechesis is inspired by the account of the first encounter of the disciples with Jesus (John 1,35-51), in which he asks John and Andrew, "What are you looking for?"
"Jesus - he explains - appears in the Gospels as an expert on the human heart. At that moment he had met two young men in search, earnestly restless. In fact, what kind of youth is a happy youth, without questioning the meaning of things? Young people who are looking for nothing are not young, they grow old before their time. And Jesus, through all the Gospel, in all the encounters that happen to him on the road, is an “igniter” of hearts. Hence his question that seeks to bring out the desire for life and happiness that every young man should encounter: "What are you looking for?"
John's and Andrea's vocation thus begins: it is the beginning of a friendship with Jesus so strong to impose a communion of life and passion with Him. The two disciples begin to stand with Jesus and immediately become missionaries: so much so, that their respective brothers - Simone and James - are soon involved in the discipleship. It was such a touching encounter, so happy that the disciples will remember that day that illuminated and directed their youth forever. "
"How do you discover your vocation in this world? It can be discovered in so many ways, but this Gospel passage tells us that the first indicator is the joy of meeting with Jesus. Marriage, Consecrated Life, Priesthood: Every vocation begins with a meeting with Jesus that gives us a joy and a New hope; And leads us, even through trials and difficulties, to an ever-greater encounter with Him and to the fullness of joy.
The Lord does not want ungodly men and women who walk behind him, without the wind of gladness in their heart. Jesus wants people who have experienced that being with Him gives immense happiness that can be renewed every day of life. A disciple of the Kingdom of God who is not joyful does not evangelize this world. He cannot proclaim Jesus with the refined weapons of rhetoric but by keeping alive the flame of true happiness in his eyes.
For this reason, the Christian - like the Virgin Mary - keeps the flame in love. Of course, there are trials in life, there are times when we must move forward despite the cold and the opposing winds. But Christians know the road that leads to that sacred fire that ignited them once and forever. "
" Do not give credence to disappointed and unhappy people; Do not listen to those who cynically recommend that you should not nourish hopes in life; Do not trust those who douse all enthusiasm saying that no enterprise is worth the sacrifice of a lifetime; Do not listen to the 'old' people who stifle youthful euphoria. Instead, we should nourish healthy utopias: God wants us to be able to dream like Him and with Him, as we walk very carefully through reality. Dreaming of a different world. And if a dream dies, go back to dreaming again, hopefully drawing on the memory of its origins.
So here is a fundamental dynamic of Christian life: remembering Jesus, the flame of love with which one day we conceived our life as a project for good, and enliven our hope with this flame."