Following the Youth Synod last October, Pope Francis has reflected and prayed upon the outcomes and released his Apostolic Exhortation to Young People entitled “Christus Vivit” – “Christ Lives!”
In a powerful call to all Christian young people the Holy Father encourages them to truly live life to the full, with Christ.
“Along with all the other exciting things about youth, there is also the beauty of seeking ‘righteousness, faith, love and peace’ (2 Tim. 2:22). This does not involve losing anything of your spontaneity, boldness, enthusiasm and tenderness,”
Pope Francis points to the many obstacles to the life of faith in young people of the 21st century. Isolation, over-consumption of media, and addiction to drugs and pornography. are real enemies that the Pope says “rob you of hope and joy”. He goes on “… being young is not only about pursuing fleeting pleasures and superficial achievements. If the years of your youth are to serve their purpose in life, they must be a time of generous commitment, whole-hearted dedication, and sacrifices that are difficult but ultimately fruitful”. Communion/Community/Body are at the heart of what it is to be Christian in a world that is increasingly closing in on itself. In his 50 page letter, Pope Francis encourages the young to rediscover Christ and let him renew their hope.
“You can become what God your Creator knows you are, if only you realize that you are called to something greater. Ask the help of the Holy Spirit and confidently aim for the great goal of holiness,” he said. “In this way, you will not be a photocopy. You will be fully yourself.”
The Holy Father goes on to reflect on the richness and great strength young people bring to the Church referring to the “beauty of youth”. We are all called by God to BE fully alive; to do this He calls us to particular ways of life, each unique to the individual. Pope Francis reflects that to be true to our God given Vocation be it clerical, religious, lay, single, married is demanding. The race of life must be constantly run until the very end , he says.
“May the Holy Spirit urge you on as you run this race. The Church needs your momentum, your intuitions, your faith. We need them!”
To read the full exhortation use the button below.