-- ZENIT.org News Agency
A Friendship With Jesus Generates Mercy
In a Message to the Youth of Lithuania, Pope Francis Explains That the Mercy of God Arrives to All, Especially Those Most Fragile and Weak
By Antonio Gaspari
VATICAN CITY, July 01, 2013 (Zenit.org) - "Do not be afraid to live the faith! Be witnesses of Christ in your daily environments, with simplicity and courage. Be able to show to those you meet, to your contemporaries, above all the face of mercy and love of God, who always forgives, encourages, gives hope. Always be attentive to the other, especially to persons who are poorer and weaker, living and witnessing fraternal love, against every egoism and closure."
Thus concluded the message Pope Francis sent to the youth gathered in Kaunas for the "Sixth Day of Youth of Lithuania" (June 28-30th) on the theme: "I have called you friends" (Jn. 15, 15)
In his message, the Pope explained that Jesus wants to be a friend, brother, teacher of truth and life who reveals the path to follow obtain happiness, and "the fulfillment of yourselves according to God's plan for each one of you."
"And this friendship of Jesus," he added, " that brought us mercy, the love of God, is 'free,' a pure gift. He doesn't ask you for anything in return, but asks you only to receive it. Jesus wants to love you for what you are, even in your frailty and weakness because, touched by His love, you will be able to be renewed."
The Bishop of Rome explained that the encounter with the love of God in friendship with Christ is possible above all in the Sacraments, in the particular the Eucharist and of Reconciliation.
In the Sacrament of Penance, he underlined, "Jesus receives us with all of our limitations, He bring us the mercy of the Father who forgives us, and transforms our heart, rendering it a new heart, capable of loving Him, who loved His own to the end (cf. John 13:1). And this love is manifested in his mercy. Jesus always forgives us."
Pope Francis revealed in particular the beauty of simple contemplative prayer, accessible to all, great and small, educated and uneducated: the prayer of the Holy Rosary.
The Rosary, he wrote, "is an effective instrument to open ourselves to God, because it helps us to overcome our egoism and to have peace in our hearts, in our families, in society and in the world."
[Translation by Junno Arocho Esteves]
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