(Vatican Radio) As part of a Canadian youth forum which aired on Salt and Light TV on October 22, Pope Francis has sent a video message to the young people of Canada gathered in preparation for the Synod of Bishops 2018.
The Holy Father invited them to build bridges through social communications, without letting their youthful enthusiasm for the Gospel be snuffed out.
In his video message to the young people of Canada, Pope Francis reflected on the "marvels of technology" which now allow "encounters and exchanges that were unthinkable until a short while ago." He invited them to use new channels of communication positively and "not to let them be ruined by those bent only on exploiting and destroying them".
Spread youthful joy of Gospel
Rather, the Pope told them to flood the places they live "with the joy and enthusiasm" typical of their age and "to water the world and history with the joy of the Gospel". He said this is possible only through an encounter with Jesus, "who has intrigued you and drawn you to be with him", he said. "Don't let your youth be stolen from you," Pope Francis told the young people of Canada. "Don't build walls of division. Build bridges, like this one which you are crossing and which allows you to communicate from the shores of two oceans."
Ever-present call to discipleship
Pope Francis went on to remind them that Jesus' call to discipleship can never be drowned out by the noise of modern communications. "Jesus turns his gaze to you and invites you to come to him... Have you heard his voice?... I'm sure that, even though din and daze seem to reign in the world, this call continues to sound in your being, calling you to open up to the fullness of joy." This, he said, is possible only when they have sought out expert spiritual guides "to discover God's project" for their life.
Courageous young people
Pope Francis also told the young people that the Church needs courageous young people.
"The world and the Church need courageous young people, who are not afraid of adversity, who confront any difficulty, keeping their eyes and heart open to reality, so that no one may be rejected, fall victim to injustice or violence, or be deprived of their dignity as a human person."
The Holy Father said he had no doubt their "young hearts" would remain open to the cry for help of their age mates, "who seek freedom, work, studies, and the possibility to give meaning to their lives."
Open to Christ
Finally, Pope Francis invited them to open themselves to Christ.
"Let him speak to you, embrace you, console you, heal your wounds, and dissolve your doubts and fears. Thus you will be ready for the fascinating adventure of life."
Jesus, he said, "is with you and awaits from you a resounding 'Here I am'."
Listen to the complet Salt and Light Youth Forum