Holy Father: “go, do not be afraid and serve”

We had a beautiful closing Mass for World Youth Day in which the Holy Father urged us to “go, do not be afraid and serve.” It was a simple but profound message for all of us.

Pope Francis cautioned the more than three million faithful, bishops and priests included, that “the experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community.” He said that when Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” he did not say, “if you would like to, if you have the time.”

The pope told the young in attendance, “…as you return to your homes, do not be afraid to be generous with Christ, to bear witness to his Gospel.” Addressing his brother priests, the Holy Father thanked them for accompanying our young people to World Youth Day, but he reminded us that WYD is but a stage on the journey. “Continue to accompany them with generosity and joy, help them to become actively engaged in the Church; never let them feel alone!”

He reminded everyone “…the life of Jesus is a life for others. It is a life of service…Evangelizing means bearing personal witness to the love of God, it is overcoming our selfishness; it is serving by bending down to wash the feet of our brethren, as Jesus did.”

I will remain in Brazil for a few more days to attend a bishops’ meeting and I’ll do what I can over the next days to keep everyone up to date. Know that you remain in my prayers.

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