Message to young people for Don Bosco 2017
My dear Young Friends I am very happy to be able to knock at the door of your heart on this feast of Don Bosco.
Now, as you are watching me, I am in the Dominican Republic, to celebrate the feast of Don Bosco: This year in the American continent, whereas last year in Africa, in Sierra Leone.
It is always a joy to be able to tell you, as Pope Francis did in a letter he sent a few days ago to all the youth, to announce the preparation for the Synod 2018, on the theme: “Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”.
Well, the Pope told you: “My dear Young People, I am writing to you because you are in my heart”.
I can assure you that I know what this experience means, because when I think of the youth of the entire Salesian world I feel very close to all of you.
When I think of what Don Bosco would tell you many things come to my mind, knowing that reality is so varied and diverse among you.
Many of you study some subjects, some disciplines in high schools and institutes, others are studying in vocational schools, others at the university, and some others do not have this opportunity. Some of you have the means to develop your capabilities, Many others who attend the Salesian houses in the world do not have these opportunities.
But there is always something for which I feel well and it is the awareness that the heart of all of you, young people, has the same feeling.
There is a juvenile sensitivity that is very common.
And this is why I allow myself to leave you as a message something that on another occasion Pope Francis told you and which I deem very appropriate.
Not long ago He told you: “Dear Young Friends, I have confidence in you, and I pray for you. Have the courage to “swim against the tide”.
This is the message I want to dedicate to you and to elaborate.
My dear Young Friends, I too have great confidence in you, I pray for you and invite you to be capable to be yourselves, to answer the ideals you feel in your heart, not to be afraid of what you experience in the inmost part of your heart, that Jesus is demanding something good and great from each one of you.
I invite you to be capable of commitment, of generosity, “until it hurts”, as Mother Theresa of Calcutta, now a Saint, used to say: “Love and serve, until it hurts”.
Among other things, my dear friends, since there are also many youth close to you who are tired, who do not have dreams nor ideals, who do not expect great things, that is exactly where your presence as companions, as friends, as disciples-missionaries, is very important and valid, to show them that we cannot help taking great decisions, including the accompaniment in a journey that may lead them to Jesus. A Jesus who never sells illusions, and even less to you, young people.
A Jesus who offers Himself, who invites to stay with Him.
This is all. And here I conclude with the words of the Pope, with which he invites to be open to what the Spirit tells to each one of you, not to be afraid of listening to what the Master tells you.
My dear Young Friends of the entire Salesian world, “Happy feast of Don Bosco!” Don Bosco wants you to be deeply happy, now, here, and one day in eternity.
Don Bosco certainly wants you to be profoundly human, upright citizens, who know how to develop all your capabilities, and he wants you to be always friends of Jesus.
Good evening. I wish you happy days! And let us continue to transmit the best of our self to those who are close to us.
So long, my dear Friends!