Pope writes to young people for WYD and challenges them to disconnect from screens

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This coming Palm Sunday, every diocese in the world will celebrate World Youth Day. This year's slogan is “Young man, I say to you, arise!” This initiative promoted by John Paul II will celebrate its 35 years on April 5.

Pope Francis wrote a message for this edition. He encourages youth to get up and have compassion. He says if they learn to weep with those who are weeping, then they will find true happiness.

“I ask each one of you to ask, Can I weep? Can I weep when I see a child who is hungry, on drugs and on the street, homeless, abandoned, mistreated or exploited as a slave by society? Or is my weeping the self-centered whining of those who weep because they want to have something else?”

He calls young people to see as their own, the wounds of their peers, who lack the same opportunities, or suffer violence and persecution.

He also challenges them to make an ambitious cultural change: to avoid being isolated by electronic devices that keep them “constantly glued to the screen.” He asks them instead to “embrace a reality that is so much more than virtual.” He explains “this does not involve rejecting technology, but rather using it as a means and not as an end.”

“Dear young people, we didn't come into this world to 'vegetate,' to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark.”

The pope encourages them to use life's failures as opportunities to start again. He also invites them to live new lives, to be passionate and to do great things. He definitely wants them to make noise!

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Claudia Torres

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