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Pope calls young people to self-sacrificial love, friendship with Christ

April 25, 2016

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 24 for the 60,000 teenagers who had gathered in Rome for the Jubilee for Boys and Girls.

Describing love as the “the Christian’s identity card, the only valid ‘document’ identifying us as Christians,” Pope Francis preached that love is “shown in real actions. Those who are not real and genuine and who speak of love are like characters is a soap opera, some fake love story.”

Such love is “demanding, and it requires effort,” he continued. “To love means to give, not only something material, but also something of oneself: one’s own time, one’s friendship, one’s own abilities.”

Christ, the Pope added, “offers us his faithful friendship, which he will never take back.”

“The Lord is a friend forever,” Pope Francis said. “Even if you disappoint him and walk away from him, Jesus continues to want the best for you and to remain close to you; he believes in you even more than you believe in yourself. This is an example of genuine love that Jesus teaches to us.”

The Pope also called young people to seek true freedom by choosing the good, rather than being content with “mediocrity” and seeking an abundance of possessions.

“Freedom is not the ability simply to do what I want,” he said. “This makes us self-centered and aloof, and it prevents us from being open and sincere friends … Instead, freedom is the gift of being able to choose the good: this is true freedom.”

 
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