From Pope Francis’ words to young people on Palm Sunday…
There is something I want to stress. We are in the present. At my age, we are about to go leave . . . no? [He laughs] Who guarantees life? No one. Your age has the future before it. To young people today, to young people life asks for a mission, the Church asks them for a mission, and I would like to give you this mission: go back and talk to your grandparents. Today we are in need of it more than ever, we are in need of this bridge, of the dialogue between grandparents and young people, between the old and the young. In chapter 3, verse 2, the prophet Joel he says this to us, as a prophecy: “The old will dream dreams, and the young will prophesy,” namely, with prophesies they will take concrete things forward. This is the task I give you in the name of the Church: to talk with the elderly. “But it’s boring . . . they always say the same things . . .” No, listen to the elderly person. Talk <to them>, ask <them> about things. Let them dream and draw from those dreams to go on, to prophesy and to render that prophecy concrete. This is your mission today; this is the mission that the Church asks of you today.
Dear young people, be courageous! “But, Father, I have sinned, I fall so many times . . .” There comes to mind a very beautiful Alpine song, which Alpine troops sing: “In the art of climbing, what is important is not to not fall, but not to stay fallen.” Go on! You fall? Get up and go on. But think of what your grandfather dreamt, what the old man or the old woman dreamt. Make them talk, take up those things and build bridges to the future. This is the task and the mission that the Church gives to you today.
Thank you so much for your courage, and . . . see you in Panama! I don’t know if I will be there, but the Pope will be there. And, at Panama, the Pope will ask you: “ Did you talk with old people? Did you talk with the elderly? Did you take the elderly man’s dream and transformed it into a concrete prophecy?” This is your task. May the Lord bless you. Pray for me, and let us prepare ourselves, all together, for the Synod and for Panama.
(The next international World Youth Day will be held in Panama.)