18th Sunday of the Year Year C

Pope Francis, in speaking to young people at the World Youth Day, reflected on the enthusiasm of so many who were there with him:

“ In my years as a bishop, I have learned one thing. Nothing is more beautiful than seeing the enthusiasm, dedication, zeal and energy with which so many young people live their lives. When Jesus touches a young person’s heart, he or she becomes capable of truly great things. It is exciting to listen to you share your dreams, your questions and your impatience with those who say that things cannot change.

For me, it is a gift of God to see so many of you, with all your questions, trying to make a difference. It is beautiful and heartwarming to see all that restlessness!

Today the Church looks to you and wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face, and constantly invites us to be part of his Kingdom.

Knowing your enthusiasm for mission, I repeat: mercy always has a youthful face! Because a merciful heart is motivated to move beyond its comfort zone. A merciful heart can go out and meet others; it is ready to embrace everyone. A merciful heart is able to be a place of refuge for those who are without a home or have lost their home; it is able to build a home and a family for those forced to emigrate; it knows the meaning of tenderness and compassion.

A merciful heart can share its bread with the hungry and welcome refugees and migrants. To say the word “mercy” along with you is to speak of opportunity, future, commitment, trust, openness, hospitality, compassion and dreams.”

We need that restlessness in our church, that enthusiasm that challenges all of us to listen to God’s voice and change a World full of cynicism into one of love. Half a million young people have many suggestions for each of us.

Just a thought