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Pope urges youth of Mozambique to write a new page of history; thousands chant call for reconciliation

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Invites them to quiet their inner voices for a moment and “rest for a second in God’s loving embrace”

“Reconciliation! Reconciliation!” With this cry, thousands of youth of Mozambique greeted the pope on his first full day in their country. This cry of the heart hammered for a good 10 minutes as the Bishop of Rome was welcomed by 15,000 young people of all faiths. Young Muslims, Christians, and Hindus performed songs, skits and dances, all pleading for peace, before the pope spoke.

A prolonged civil war hindered Mozambique’s development until the mid-1990s, with some violence still continuing. And earlier this year two cyclones devastated the country.

The pope urged the young people to build a better future for their homeland.

Many of you were born at a time of peace, a hard-won peace that was not always easy to achieve and took time to build. Peace is a process that you too are called to advance, by being ever ready to reach out to those experiencing hardship. What power there is in an outstretched hand and a friendship that finds concrete expression! …

How important it is to learn to offer others a helping and outstretched hand! Try to grow in friendship with those who think differently than you, so that solidarity will increase among you and become the best weapon to change the course of history.

“Do you want to write this page?” the pope asked them, “a new page of history, a page full of hope, peace, and reconciliation?

“Yes! Reconciliation, reconciliation,” thousands of voices responded immediately, unanimously.

The Holy Father also urged them to build their future in the certainty of God’s love.

Let me leave you with one last thought: God loves you, and this is something on which all our religious traditions are agreed. “For him, you have worth; you are not insignificant. You are important to him, for you are the work of his hands. That is why he is concerned about you and looks to you with affection. Trust the memory of God… His memory is a heart filled with tender compassion, one that finds joy in ‘deleting’ from us every trace of evil.

He does not keep track of your failings and he always helps you learn something even from your mistakes. Because he loves you. Try to keep still for a moment and let yourself feel his love. Try to silence all the noise within, and rest for a second in his loving embrace” (Christus Vivit, 115). …

I know that you believe in this love that makes reconciliation possible. And because you believe in this love, I am certain that you are hopeful and that you will not fail to walk joyfully in the ways of peace.

 

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