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Pope urges Asian youth to build a ‘holier, more missionary and humble Church’

Catholic World News - August 18, 2014

At the closing Mass of the 6th Asian Youth Day in Haemi, Pope Francis called upon Asia’s Catholic youth to build a holier, more missionary and humble Church.”

The Mass took place on the afternoon of April 17, the fourth full day of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to South Korea.

“As Asians too, you see and love, from within, all that is beautiful, noble and true in your cultures and traditions,” he preached. “Yet as Christians, you also know that the Gospel has the power to purify, elevate and perfect this heritage … [Y]ou can appreciate the many positive values of the diverse Asian cultures. You are also able to discern what is incompatible with your Catholic faith, what is contrary to the life of grace bestowed in Baptism, and what aspects of contemporary culture are sinful, corrupt, and lead to death.”

“Let Christ turn your natural optimism into Christian hope, your energy into moral virtue, your good will into genuine self-sacrificing love,” he continued. “This is the path you are called to take. This is the path to overcoming all that threatens hope, virtue and love in your lives and in your culture. In this way your youth will be a gift to Jesus and to the world.”

The Pope added:

As young Christians, whether you are workers or students, whether you have already begun a career or have answered the call to marriage, religious life or the priesthood, you are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church’s present! You are Church’s present! Keep close to one another, draw ever closer to God, and with your bishops and priests spend these years in building a holier, more missionary and humble Church, a holier, more missionary and humble Church, a Church which loves and worships God by seeking to serve the poor, the lonely, the infirm and the marginalized.

“In your Christian lives, you will find many occasions that will tempt you, like the disciples in today’s Gospel, to push away the stranger, the needy, the poor and the brokenhearted,” he continued. “Let us respond, not like those who push away people who make demands on us, as if serving the needy gets in the way of our being close to the Lord. No! We are to be like Christ, who responds to every plea for his help with love, mercy and compassion.”

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