2014-02-28 12:57:54

Pope receives members of Pontifical Commission for Latin America

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America on Friday. Founded in 1958 to offer advice and assistance to the particular Churches in Latin America, the Commission operates under the Congregation for Bishops. Members have been in Plenary Assembly this week to discuss the theme: Educational Emergency and the Transmission of the Faith to Latin American Youth.

In remarks delivered to the members on Friday in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, Pope Francis addressed the topic under their consideration through the key of the Gospel story of Jesus and the rich young man. Listen: RealAudioMP3

The Holy Father went on to say that a welcoming disposition is prior to any act of teaching. “Christ stopped, looked with affection, with love, on [the young man],” he said, adding, “The Lord puts himself in each person’s situation, even those who reject him.” Noting the many grave difficulties that young people in Latin America often face, such as school failure , unemployment , loneliness , bitterness in broken families, Pope Francis said, “We are asked not to abandon young people,” but to help foster in them a sense of their own dignity, and help them feel loved and included.

This welcoming disposition, however, does not exclude genuine dialogue with young people. “Jesus engaged in a frank and cordial dialogue with the young man,” said Pope Francis. “He listened to his concerns and clarified them in the light of Sacred Scripture.”

Finally, Christ invites the young man to follow Him. “Go, sell all that you have…and come follow me,” said Pope Francis, quoting the words of Our Lord to the rich youth. “These words,” he added, “have not lost their timeliness.” He called on the members of the Commission to help young people become friends of Christ.

“Dear brothers,” concluded Pope Francis, “young people are counting on us. Let us not disappoint them.”

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