Pope Francis sent a message to the UNIV forum in Rome, which unites thousands of young people to reflect on social questions and experience Easter close to the pope.
In the letter, Pope Francis asked the youth to cultivate a “friendship with Christ,” asking oneself often, “What would Jesus do in my place? What can I do to become more like Him and bring Him to others?”
He invited them to seek out God “in prayer, in the sacraments, in all circumstances of your life and also in the people around you: in your friends, family members, fellow students, and in the most needy and forgotten of the world, in whom Christ’s face is reflected in an especially clear way.”
He dismissed them with a concrete petition: “I invite you to get out of yourselves, overcoming comfort-seeking and the selfishness of thinking only about your own concerns, in order to set out on the path of encountering those in need, and serving them with your talents.”
The UNIV encounters began in 1968 under the lead of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. This year, 2,500 young people are participating from 100 countries, to reflect on the theme, “Rethink the future.” On Wednesday, they will present to Pope Francis their collection for social initiatives and the mosaic dedicated to Mary, “Mother of the Church” for the Christians in Syria.