Pope to Europe’s scouts: Open the path of giving to others. Give and it will be given to you

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In the audience with the young people of the Euromoot, Pope Francis emphasizes that the starting point in life is “not having, but giving: Give, that is, start putting your life into play”.  Everyone has a unique and important contribution to make to the world: the example of Mother Teresa.  “Creation has no borders … we are in the world to meet others, to create communion”.  The commitment to “a renewed Europe;  not protector of spaces, but generator of encounter”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “I wish you, my dear sculpters and rovers of Europe, to open roads on the path of giving for others.  Give and it will be given to you “: a roar of applause, enthusiastic whistles, howls, chants, slogans, waving flags, welcomed the last words that Pope Francis addressed to the Euromoot participants, an international gathering attended by boys and girls from the  16 to 21 years from 20 nations, belonging to the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe (Uisge).  

The Euromoot, held from 27 July to 3 August, covered historical itineraries in some regions of Italy, visiting five cities in Italy, each dedicated to the figure of a saint: Paul of Tarsus, Benedict of Norcia, Cyril and Methodius,  Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena.

Meeting the thousands of young people in the Paul VI hall this morning , Francis first of all pointed out these saints as models: “They did not wait for something from life or from others, but they trusted God and took a risk, they put themselves at stake, on the way  to realize dreams so great that after centuries they have done good to you too.  They gave their lives, they didn’t keep it for themselves ”.

Precisely for this reason, the Pope gave the young people “five words … Simple words, which trace a clear course.  Give and it will be given to you “.

“First of all give.  Today we immediately think of having.  Many live with the sole purpose of possessing what they like … Jesus sets as a starting point not having, but giving: give, that is, and by doing so you begin to put life into play!  To give means to get up from the armchair, from the comforts that make you fall back on yourself, and start walking ”.  And he added: “In the desire to have, you lose your originality and you will become a photocopy.”

Then a kind of dialogue followed , with questions and answers posed by the pontiff himself: “You may say:” All right, I give the best of me, but there is so much indifference, so many think only of themselves.  Doesn’t this just make me naive and a loser? “.  I would like to tell you: trust Jesus. After saying give, he adds: and it will be given to you.  God is Father and will give you more than you imagine.  God does not leave empty-handed … Jesus makes you happy inside, not outside, Jesus does not make you the make-up, but makes you beautiful inside;  gives you what no thing can give you;  because the latest smartphone, the fastest car or the most fashionable dress, in addition to never being enough, will never give you the joy of feeling loved and loving”.

“You may say:” Even if I do my best, reality will not change for the better. ”  It’s not true.  Do you know why?  Because you are unique.  Because no one in the world can give the world what you are called to give, you … Each of you is unique and – please never forget it – precious in the eyes of God. For the Church you are precious, for me you are precious.  I would like to tell each of you: for me you are precious.  It would be nice if you also said this to each other “.  To reiterate the fact that everyone has a unique and important contribution to make to the world, Pope Francis remembers Mother Teresa who considered her commitment to be only “a drop in the sea”, but important because without it, the sea would not be complete.

“Give and  you will be given also applies to creation.  If we continue to exploit it, it will give us a terrible lesson.  If we take care of it, we will have a home tomorrow.  On your journey you have immersed yourself in nature.  Have you noticed that creation has no borders?  Plants, woods, animals grow without borders, without customs.  Creation is an open book that gives us a precious teaching: we are in the world to meet others, to create communion, because we are all connected.  Creation is made to connect us with God and among ourselves, it is God’s social network. But if we start from preconceptions about others, from predetermined ideas, we will always see limits and barriers.  If instead we begin to encounter the other, his story,  his reality, we will discover a brother with whom to inhabit our common home”.

“By choosing the path of the gift – he concluded – we become active citizens, as your founder Baden Powell said.  It is so important today: the Lord does not seek only good people, but people who do good!  Also the love for Europe, which unites you, requires not only attentive observers, but active builders: builders of reconciled and integrated societies, which give life to a renewed Europe;  not protector of spaces, but generator of encounter.  You, rovers and scouts from all over Europe have this historic task.  With your journey and your dreams you are already forging the European spirit.  The badge of all scouts is a lily.  It is the symbol that indicates the north on compasses and ancient nautical charts.  Remember that scouting wants to form men and women who open roads to the High and keep the right course, that of good.  I wish you, dear sculptors and rovers of Europe, to be open-roads on the path of giving.  Give and it will be given to you “.