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Pope in Estonia: ecumenical meeting with young people, “love is not dead”. Going beyond “conformity” towards the “fringes”

“Beyond all our limitations and divisions, Jesus is still the reason for our being here”. Pope Francis said this in the final part of his address to young people at the ecumenical meeting in the Lutheran Church of Tallinn. “We know no greater peace of mind can be found than by letting Jesus carry our burdens”, Pope Francis continued: “We also know that many people still do not know him, and live in sadness and confusion”. “Love is dead, love is gone, love don’t live here anymore”, the Pope said, citing a famous Estonian singer: “No, please, let love be alive, and we shall all contribute to it!”, the Pope said off the cuff: “Many people – he continued – have that experience: they see that their parents no longer love one another, that the love of newlyweds soon fades. They see a lack of love in the fact that nobody cares that they have to migrate to look for work, or look askance at them because they are foreigners”. “It might seem that love is dead, but we know that it is not, and that we have a word to say, a message to bring, with few words and many actions”, Pope Francis said: “For you are a generation of images and action, more than speculation and theory. And that is how Jesus likes it, because he went about doing good, and when dying he preferred the striking message of the cross over mere words”. “Yet, we believers run the risk of losing the meaning of life”, the Pope said off the cuff: “and this happens when we are inconsistent”. “Let us accept together that newness that God brings to our life”, was the Pope’s invitation: “that newness that impels us to set out anew to all those places where humanity is most wounded. Wherever men and women, beneath the appearance of a shallow conformity, continue to seek an answer to the question of life’s meaning. Yet we will never go alone: God comes with us; He is unafraid of the fringes, he himself became a fringe. So if we dare to go to the fringes, we will find him there; indeed, he is already there. Jesus is already there, in the hearts of our brothers and sisters, in their wounded flesh, in their troubles and in their profound desolation. He is already there”. “Love is not dead. It calls us and sends us forth”, the Pope remarked: “Let us ask for the apostolic strength to bring the Gospel to others and to resist the tendency to see our Christian life as if it were a museum of memories”. “The Christian life is life, is the future, is hope, it is not a museum!”, Pope Francis added off the cuff: “May the Holy Spirit help us to contemplate history in the light of the risen Jesus, so that the Church will be able to continue to welcome the Lord’s surprises”, and to recover “the youthfulness, joy and beauty of the Bride who goes forth to meet her Lord”. “The Lord’s surprises: the Lord surprises us because life always surprises us. Let us go forward towards these surprises”, the Pope concluded off the cuff, greeted by a long round of applause by the youth present.

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