Pope to Proclaim the Promise Congress: ‘Dream and look ahead!’

19 February 2021

Pope Francis sends a video message to participants of the 2021 Religious Education Congress hosted online by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This year marks the Congress’s 65th anniversary and the 50th of its Youth Day. 56 speakers from around the US will give talks hoping to inspire and transform Church members in proclaiming the Gospel, giving voice to justice, and serving others.

Vatican News staff writer

Participants at this year’s Religious Education Congress are discussing the theme, “Proclaim the Promise!” – a radical invitation to believe that our lives and our world are sustained by God’s promise.

In his video message in Spanish at the beginning of the Congress, Pope Francis said:

“We need to proclaim and remember that we have God’s promise and that God always keeps his promises.”

He noted that every woman and man in every generation “brings the promise of new relational, intellectual, cultural and spiritual energies”.

The Congress unfolds at the same time the world is going through exceedingly difficult times due to the pandemic and resulting economic hardship. But, the Pope said, the current crisis should not keep us from being hopeful and looking to a future that engages everyone’s commitment, strength, and dedication.

He holds up the model of the Good Samaritan who was moved by the suffering of the person he encountered and took action to help him.

“We need to act like the Samaritan. This means allowing myself to be moved by what I see, knowing that the suffering will change me, and that I need to get involved with others’ suffering.”

Pope Francis said these modern day Good Samaritans have left “a profund impact on consciences and our society, teaching how important drawing close, caring, accompanying, and sacrifice are necessary to strengthen fraternity”. This reality, he said, proclaims and brings to fruition God’s promise.

The Pope also noted that you never come out of a crisis the same. Quoting his encyclical, Fratelli tutti, he expressed his hopes that the dignity of the human person wins out with “a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead.” He stressed:

“How important it is to dream together and to look ahead!”

In conclusion, he encouraged young people to be hopeful and to be “the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty!”

He said dreams must be built together “as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.”

With thanks to Vatican News.

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