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MANILA, Philippines – True love can say “forever.”
Pope Francis asserted this Monday, July 29 (Sunday, July 28 in Brazil), in one of his last speeches for World Youth Day (WYD), as he asked the youth “to rebel” to uphold marriage.
In his thanksgiving message for WYD volunteers, Francis said: “Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘forever,’ because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.”
“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide.’ Have the courage to be happy,” the Pope added.
While he has spoken extensively about clericalism and poverty, this is one of the Pope’s few statements on contemporary issues involving marriage and sexuality. It reflects not only his stance on marriage, but also his strong position against relativism that was likewise tackled in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei. (READ: Pope’s 1st encyclical: Faith isn’t old-fashioned)
Most of his other WYD speeches focused on promoting a missionary Church and rejecting modern-day “idols.” (READ: Pope to youth: Go, the Church needs you)
‘New springtime’ on earth
In his message for WYD volunteers, Francis also addressed young people called to be priests or nuns.
He said: “I will never forget that day, September 21 – I was 17 years old – when, after stopping in the Church of San José de Flores to go to confession, I first heard God calling me. Do not be afraid of what God asks of you! It is worth saying ‘yes’ to God. In him we find joy!”
What about those who don’t know what to do with their lives? The Pope advised them to pray.
“Dear young people, some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives,” Francis said. “Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way.”
Later that evening, in the farewell ceremony for him at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao Airport, the Pope said he counts on the youth for the world’s future.
“I will always place my hopes in the young people of Brazil and in the young around the world: through them, Christ is preparing a new springtime all over the earth. I have seen its first fruits and I know that others will joyfully reap the full harvest,” Francis said. – Rappler.com