WITH less than a year to the World Youth Day (WYD) to be celebrated in Panama, over 42,000 people have registered since the lists were opened last week.
On Thursday. Feb. 22 Pope Francis sent a message to the young people of the world who are thinking of participating in the religious and cultural event and gave a homily on social media.
"As WYD in Panama approaches, I invite those who want to be part of this great adventure to prepare with joy and the enthusiasm, "he said.
"WYD is for the brave, not for young people who only seek comfort and who recoil from difficulties. Do you accept the challenge? "He added.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio recalled that the XXXIII World Youth Day, will have a place at the diocesan level in Rome on February 25, when the Catholic Church celebrates Palm Sunday " another step in the process of preparation for WYD International of Panama in 2019. " But he took time out to identify problems facing today's youth, such as the "Terror and uncertainty" or the fear of not being accepted in the group.
"Today, many young people feel compelled to be different from what they really are and try to adapt to often artificial and unattainable standards, "he said.
Many spend their time " with continuous photographic retouching" of their image "hiding behind masks and false identities until they almost become fake themselves.
he raised the alarm about the "obsessive" tendency to receive likes,
"Many are obsessed with receiving as many" likes "as possible. And this sense of inadequacy produces fears and uncertainties, "he said in his message.
The Pope asked young people not to lock themselves in and raise "a barricade" to defend themselves against everything and everyone but to go out and talk and dialogue with others.
The pontiff said that many young people today feel "disturbed and seized by so many fears", but pointed out above all one that surpassed all the others: "there is a deep fear of not to be loved of not being accepted for what you are. "
"Do not leave, the radiance of youth in the darkness of a closed room in which the only window to see the world is the computer and the smartphone, "he added.
He urged them to have "courage" and to use "their strengths and energies to improve the world, starting with the closest reality. " The key -according to the Pope’s recipe- is "to love the people with whom we share daily life. And we can also love those who are not so beautiful.”
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