In a heartfelt message for the upcoming 38th diocesan World Youth Day, Pope Francis emphasized the vitality of hope, especially during challenging times marked by crises and uncertainties.
His letter, aptly titled “Rejoicing in Hope,” reflects on the profound words of St. Paul and the enduring power of Christian hope.
Pope Francis recognizes that many, particularly the youth, find themselves grappling with feelings of hopelessness. In this context, he poses a vital question: “How can we experience the joy and hope of which Saint Paul speaks?”
To sustain hope, the Pope points out that it’s not about human efforts or plans but stems from an encounter with Christ. He asserts that Christian hope is far from being mere optimism. It’s a deep-rooted certainty in God’s unwavering presence and love, as Pope Francis quotes, “‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me.'”
Furthermore, Pope Francis encourages young people to be active bearers of hope. He suggests that they can be part of God’s response to the world’s suffering, by being symbols of His love. This approach transforms despair into opportunities for joy and hope.
Highlighting the importance of sharing hope, the Pope urges the youth not to keep this hope to themselves. He advises them to be attentive to those who may be struggling silently and to counteract the prevailing attitudes of indifference and individualism.
As the world prepares for the next international celebration of World Youth Day in Seoul in 2027 and the Holy Year 2025, Pope Francis reminds us that hope is a small yet mighty virtue, capable of propelling us forward even in the darkest of times.
In the words of Charles Péguy, as quoted by Pope Francis, “Hope loves what will be… She is the one who makes the others keep walking.”
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