Pope to Thai youth: Jesus is counting on you to carry out your mission today

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Screams, songs, excitement and waving Thai and Vatican flags...

This is how youth welcomed Pope Francis to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Bangkok, where he prepared to celebrate Mass for them. 

Some were a little younger than others, while some a little older. 

The church facade was decorated with the pope's photos. Since inside can't hold very many, lines of people watched from the big screen outside. 

The pope and con-celebrants red silk vestments were hand-made by some religious sisters in Thailand, specifically for the event.

He encouraged the many adolescents present, that despite obstacles, unbelief makes hearts grow cold and lose joy. 

The Lord knows that through you, young people, the future is coming into this land and the world, and he is counting on you to carry out your mission today. Just as God had a plan for the Chosen People, so he has a plan for each of you.

He asked the young people three questions. First was “Do you want to keep your internal fire burning brightly?” Second, “Do you want to be prepared to answer God's call? And finally, “Do you want to be ready to do His will?”

Dear friends, in order that the fire of the Spirit will keep burning, so that you can keep your eyes bright and your hearts aflame, you need to be deeply rooted in the faith of your ancestors: your parents, grandparents and teachers. Not so that you are stuck in the past, but so you learn to find the courage that can help us respond to ever-new situations.

Pope Francis said this sense of being rooted allows one to remain on course to follow Christ and keep a happy heart. Thus, never be afraid or intimidated of the future. 

The cardinal of Bangkok spoke at the conclusion, thanking the pope for his words and encouraging the youth once again. They wished each other goodbye, as Pope Francis will leave for Japan Saturday morning. 

While walking out, he was embraced by a young blind young girl whom he blessed. Then he hugged another young man and touched his ears, before he made his way over to the sick and disabled, blessing them each one-by-one. 

While leaving the joyful youth assembly, they erupted in screams and reached out to touch the pope as he processed out of the church. 

Pope Francis, almost getting a second wind from the energetic youth, proceeded to bless all those who participated in the Mass outside the cathedral, before he went to the apostolic nunciature to conclude his night.

Melissa Butz 

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