Pope to youth: Jesus doesn't want you on the bench, He asks you to go out to the world
After an exhausting day, the pope met with Sicilian youth in a central square in Palermo. When he came down from the popemobile, this young woman hugged him, as a representation of a hug from everyone.
Those who attended in the square did not want to return home without taking a photo of the pope.
Then, three young people greeted him on behalf of everyone and asked him three questions.
"How can a young man or woman of our time hear the voice of the Lord?"
"How does God want us to live in our land as young people?"
In an intense speech, the pope asked them not to be carried away by pessimism, and not to be afraid to be personally involved in the construction of the future of their land and of the Church. Therefore, he explained that in order to know God, one must decide to be generous with people.
"How do you listen to God? Where does the Lord speak? Do you have His phone number to call Him? The Lord cannot be heard sitting on the couch. Do you understand? 'Sitting, in a comfortable life, doing nothing, but I want to listen to the Lord.' I assure you, that you will hear everything else, except the Lord. Dream big, dream big with big dreams. In those dreams you will find many, many words from the Lord, who is saying something to you."
Using an example from Spanish literature, he told them that it is better to be good idealists like Don Quixote, than lazy and unrealistic like Sancho Panza.
"Jesus does not want you to stay on the bench, he asks you to go out into the world. He does not want you behind the scenes, spying on others, or in the audience commenting on the play. He wants you in the scene. Jump into the game! Are you afraid of making a fool of yourself? Mess up; have patience. We have all done it many times. Embarrassing yourself is not a drama. What is drama is not doing anything. Now that is a drama! It's a drama that you do not take risks in your life."
He concluded asking them to be people who build bridges in a society that is composed of wars and confrontation. Pope Francis told them that being at the service of others changes the world.
"No to resignation. Everything can change. 'But father, where should I call to change everything?' Call your heart, your dreams, your capacity as a man or woman to bear fruit, to generate. In the same way you will generate a son or daughter tomorrow; create a new civilization, a welcoming civilization, a fraternal civilization, a civilization of love. Everything can change."
Before leaving, many young people were personally able to say goodbye. It was getting late and the pope had to return to Rome, but there was time for hugs, gifts and a handful of selfies.