Yesterday afternoon the Pope sent a video message to young Cubans gathered in Havana, who participate symbolically in the World Youth Day taking place in Krakow. The following is a summary of his message:
“With great hope I join with you in this moment, in which you are in harmony with the universal Church whose young heart is in Krakow. I trust that these days will be, for all, a special occasion to foster the culture of encounter, the culture of respect, the culture of understanding and of mutual forgiveness. This is about ‘making a ruckus’, about dreaming. And young people are supposed to ‘make a ruckus’!
“I suggest that you live the experience of listening carefully to the Gospel and then bringing it alive in your own lives, in the lives of your family and friends. … When you pray the Via Crucis, remember that we cannot love God if we do not love our brothers. When you pass through the Holy Door, let yourself be infused with this love … and this way you will learn always to look upon others with mercy, closeness and tenderness, especially those who suffer and those who are in need of help”.
“Stand before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; because in Him, and only in Him, will you find the strong to follow the most beautiful and constructive plan of our lives; because love is constructive, love destroys not even the enemy, love always builds up. And, when you are sent by the bishops as Witnesses of Mercy, remember that the Master’s most beautiful wish is that you will be afraid of nothing. Boys and girls, do not be afraid of anything, be free of the bonds of this world and proclaim to all, to the elderly, the sorrowful, that the Church weeps with them, and that Jesus is able to give them new life, to revive them”.
“Young Cubans: open yourselves to great things! Do not be afraid! … Dream that with you, the world can be different! Dream that Cuba, with you, can be different, and better every day. Do not give up! In this endeavour it is important that you open your heart and mind to the hope that Jesus gives. … And never forget that this hope is suffered; hope knows how to suffer to carry out a project, but likewise do not forget that it gives life, it is fruitful. And with this, hope will not be fruitless; rather, it will give life to others, it will create a homeland, a Church, it will do great things. … Hope is instrumental in building ‘social friendship’, even though people may think differently. It is not necessary for us all to think in the same way … we must all join together in ‘social friendship’, even with those who think in a different way. But we all have something in common: the wish to dream, and this love for the homeland. The important thing, regardless of whether we are the same or different, is to build this ‘social friendship’ with all; to build bridges, to work together. Build bridges!”