Pope Francis met members of the “Syro-Malabar Youth Leaders Conference” during their pilgrimage to Rome, and encouraged them to follow Jesus and be inspired by the example of Mary.
Newsroom (23/06/2022 1:13 PM Gaudium Press)The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of the two Eastern Catholic autonomous (sui iuris) Churches in India, in full communion with the Pope, the other one being the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.
It is the third-largest sui juris Church of the Catholic Church and the second-largest Eastern Catholic Church after the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with some 4.25 million faithful worldwide.
Over half of them live in the Indian State of Kerala, where the Church dates back to the first century following the preaching of St. Thomas the Apostle and where the Church is still based.
Addressing some 75 young leaders of the Syro-Malabar Eparchies of the diaspora and the Apostolic Visitation in Europe, Pope Francis noted that as Christians, our wish is to follow Jesus and “walk along his path of love, the sole path that leads to eternal life.”
Though not easy, he said, this path “is exciting” and “gives meaning to our lives. It gives us the strength to say ‘yes’ to a life of service and responsibility and ‘no’ to one of superficiality and dissipation.”
Referring to the 1,950th anniversary of St. Thomas’s martyrdom, Pope Francis reminded the Syro-Malabar young leaders that the Church is apostolic “because she is founded on the testimony of the Apostles, and continues to grow not by proselytism, but by witness.”
He, therefore, called on them to bear witness to the love given by the saints in every age, primarily among their peers in the Syro-Malabar diaspora. Next, among those who do not belong to their communities. Finally, even those “who do not know the Lord Jesus.”
That love, Pope Francis noted, “shows – more than any words – that Christianity consists not in a series of prohibitions that stifle the desire for happiness, but in a life project capable of bringing fulfillment to every human heart.”
Pope Francis further encouraged the young Indian pilgrims to follow Mary’s example, referring to the theme of the next World Youth Day in Lisbon: ‘Mary arose and went with haste.’ The motto is drawn from the Gospel of Luke, where the Mother of God rushes to announce the Good News to Elizabeth.
He noted that “Mary did not allow herself to be paralyzed by pride or fear, after receiving the message of the angel.”
Pope Francis also remarked that the encounter between Mary and Elisabeth is an inspiring example of the “importance and fruitfulness of the encounter between young and old.”
He encouraged the young leaders to cultivate their relationships with their elderly relatives and make good use of their wisdom, emphasizing that the older generations play a crucial role in transmitting the faith.
In conclusion, Pope Francis pointed out that Mary “teaches us also to live Eucharistically,” in other words, to give thanks, to cultivate praise, and not to be fixated only on problems and difficulties.
“In the course of life, today’s fervent petitions become tomorrow’s prayers of thanksgiving,” he said.
(Via Vatican News)
Compiled by Raju Hasmukh