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Pope: We were made to look in each other’s eyes, not at cell phones


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/15/22

Our eyes are made to transmit joy, says Pope Francis, not to look down at a virtual world in our hands.

Pope Francis encouraged young people to resist the temptation to close up in ourselves, saying it’s a great risk for youth today: “spending the days with a telephone screen in front of their eyes. No, our eyes were made for looking at those of others. They were not made to look down at a virtual world that we hold in our hands, but to raise our eyes to heaven, to God, and to look those who live next to us in the eyes.”

The Pope said this December 15 in a brief address to youth from Italian Catholic Action.

He offered a meditation on the “easy and essential” verb that Jesus uses to exhort us.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). It is a request that the Lord makes to every Christian in every time. Jesus uses an easy and essential verb: “go.”


The Pope continued:

Some might think that to be a good Christian it is necessary above all to reflect, to meditate. Instead, Jesus says: Go!

It is a decisive verb, because it transforms the disciple into an apostle, it makes him a missionary. And you too, dear friends, are called to go, because God does not like it when we are lazy on the couch; He wants us on the move, on our way, ready and willing to put ourselves on the line.


The Pope continued the reflection with the question, “Where do we go? To whom?” And the answer: “To others, towards – Jesus says in the Gospel – all nations, without excluding anyone.”

We are made to transmit our experience of knowing Jesus, he said.

Our look, our eyes are made to transmit the joy experienced from having met Jesus, that friendship that transforms existence, that makes us embrace life and enables us to discover its beauty. Because, boys and girls, it is beautiful to follow Jesus: It is beautiful to discover the great love he has for each one of us; it is beautiful to venture into the plan of happiness he has thought up for me, for you, for everyone; it is beautiful to discover the gifts he gives us with great generosity, the surprises that fill our lives with wonder and hope, that make us grow up free and happy.

With others

The Pope went on to emphasize that in our missionary endeavor, we should be united to others.

To bear witness to Jesus’ love, it is necessary to go out into the field not individually, but together, as a group. It is necessary, in other words, to form a team, to discover we are brothers and sisters in a world that tends to isolate us, to divide us, to pit us against each other; that says to you, “think of yourself and don’t worry about others.”

Instead, the secret is precisely taking care of others. And in this way, one also takes care of oneself. One starts from here, from seeing in each person not an adversary, but a teammate, a child of God: This is the spirit with which to overcome indifference. 

Pope Francis encouraged the young people to be unafraid, knowing that Jesus always accompanies us.

At Christmas he joined us, he became our travelling companion. And he will never, ever abandon us. […] Is it not beautiful to walk with such a God, with a God who is our friend, the Friend whom we can always trust?

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