Pope Francis to young people: Be builders among the many ruins of today's world

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While a mask mandates were heavily enforced, social distancing seemed to be an afterthought as Pope Francis proceeded down the nave of St. Peter's Basilica to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Christ the King. 

The feast day coincided with the celebration of World Youth Day in dioceses around the world, and many young people were present at the Pope's Mass. 

In his homily, Pope Francis explained the challenge facing young people to be hopeful despite the state of the world. 

'You have been entrusted with an exciting but also challenging task: to stand tall while everything around us seems to be collapsing; to be sentinels ready to see the light during the night; to be builders amid the many ruins of today’s world, and there are so many ruins in this world today.'

He then stressed the value of living intentionally and having ambitious dreams, both for young people and the Church as a whole. 

'Do not live your lives numbly or asleep. Instead, dream and live. This helps us adults, and the Church as well. Yes, as a Church too, we need to dream, we need youthful enthusiasm in order to be witnesses of the God who is always young!'

The Pope also urged young people to resist the temptation to be closed-minded, and to open their hearts to others.

'Have the courage to swim against the current. Not the daily temptation to swim against other people, like perpetual victims and conspiracy theorists who are always casting blame on others; but rather against the unhealthy current of our own selfishness, closed-mindedness and rigidity, that often seeks like-minded groups to survive.'

After the Mass, Pope Francis prayed before an icon of Our Lady with young people from the diocese of Rome before proceeding out.  

Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, the Feast of Christ the King is one of the more recent additions to the liturgical calendar. This year's celebration overlapping with local World Youth Day remains part of the buildup to the international World Youth Day which will take place in Lisbon in 2023. 


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