VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Everything is possible with God, who has given people all of his love and wants them to share it with everyone, including parents, brothers and sisters, Pope Francis told hundreds of Italian children.
The members of Catholic Action’s children’s section, parish-based groups of young people from 4 to 14 years of age, have spent the past year working on projects connected with the theme: "Everything to Discover."
"To rejoice when one discovers the plan Jesus has for each of us is a beautiful journey that requires courage and the hard work of searching," the pope told them Dec. 18 during his traditional pre-Christmas audience with them.
Saying he wanted to give them a few suggestions for their journey, he told them to remember: "Everything to discover, build everything together, do everything with love, everything is possible and faith is an event always to be proclaimed."
"All these ‘everys’ are important," he told them.
First, he said, they should never give up seeking God and his plan for their lives, and they should not be afraid because their parents, siblings, friends, catechism classmates and Catholic Action leaders are there to help them "build everything together."
Their journey will be "all love," he said, when they pay attention to the poor, the suffering and the lonely, "because one who has chosen to love Jesus cannot not love his or her neighbor."
"Love the church," the pope told them. "Care for your priests, put yourself at the service of the community because the church is not just priests and bishops, but the whole community is the church, eh?"
When everyone offers their time and talents to their parish, he said, they discover that each person’s gifts "are a gift of God all to be shared."
Pope Francis told the children to be "apostles of peace and serenity" at home and at school.
"Remind your parents, brothers and sisters and peers that it is beautiful to love one another and that misunderstandings can be overcome, because when we are united with Jesus everything is possible," he said.
"With Jesus everything is possible," he repeated. "This is important. This phrase isn’t an invention; Jesus said it himself when he came down from the mountain of the Transfiguration to that dad who asked him to heal his son. What did Jesus say? ‘Everything is possible for those who have faith.’ With faith in Jesus, everything is possible."
Pope Francis’ final piece of advice for the young people was "talk to Jesus. That’s what prayer is, talking to Jesus. He’s your best friend and will never abandon you."
"Run to him every time you make a mistake and do something bad, knowing he will forgive you," the pope told them. "And tell everyone about Jesus, his love, his mercy and tenderness, because friendship with Jesus, who gave his life for us, is something to be told."
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