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Speak to others about Christ, use freedom well, Pope tells youth

Catholic World News - August 06, 2014

Pope Francis met with over 50,000 German altar servers in St. Peter’s Square on the evening of August 5. The theme of the servers’ pilgrimage was “freedom – it is lawful to do good” (Mt. 12:12).

The Pontiff listened to remarks from Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer, led the celebration of Vespers, spoke with four servers, and delivered an address.

In his brief Vespers homily, delivered in German, Pope Francis said that through the incarnation of his Son, “God makes clear to us that he is the good Father.” To accomplish the incarnation, “God needs a woman, a mother,” and “this is the Virgin Mary … She was wholly free. In her freedom, she said yes.” He asked the servers to remember Mary’s example.

In his lengthier address, delivered in Italian, Pope Francis said he would keep in mind questions asked by the four servers. Asked how servers can be leaders in the Church, the Pope said the world has great need of people who witness to God’s love and serve the common good. “You are called to speak of Jesus to your contemporaries, not only those within your parishes or associations, but especially to those outside,” he added.

“But to speak with others about Jesus, we must know and love him,” Pope Francis continued. He advised the servers to pray in silence about the Gospel readings they hear at Mass and to apply them to their lives.

In response to a question about the difficulty of making time for service at the altar, Pope Francis said that “perhaps many young people lose too many hours in futile things: chatting on the Internet or mobile phones, ‘telenovelas.’” He told them to make it a priority each day to “remember our Creator, who allows us to live, who loves us, who accompanies us on our journey.”

Pope Francis concluded by emphasizing that if freedom is not used well, as in the case of Adam and Eve, it can lead us away from God. Rules are necessary, “both in society and in the Church, to help us do the will of God … Do not use your freedom badly! Do not throw away the great dignity of being children of God that has been given to you! If you follow Jesus and his Gospel, your freedom will blossom.”

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