Pope Francis invited all Mexicans to be a church that is the voice and hope for building a different world of opportunity for all.
During his visit Pope Francis made several important declarations on topics that were relevant not only to the Mexican people but the entire world.
The environmental challenge
“We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will,” Pope Francis lamented. …….Our wounded, sinful condition takes its hurt out on the planet, the Pope stressed, leaving the Earth herself to ‘groan in travail’.
Quoting his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, he stated: “The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.”
The environmental challenge that we are experiencing and its human causes, the Pope said, affects us all and demands our response.
“We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in world history,” he declared and went on to address the indigenous community: “In this regard, you have much to teach us. Your people, as the bishops of Latin America have recognized, know how to interact harmoniously with nature, but yet on many occasions, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society.”
Francis noted how some have considered their values, culture and traditions “to be inferior,” and others, “intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them.” After making these statements, the Holy Father reminded the indigenous people present how we ought to rejoice in the certainty that, “The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us.”
Our Ravaged ‘Throwaway’ Culture
Pope Francis pointed out how modern culture seeks to suppress cultural heritage, seeking a homogenized world. He emphasised how this makes it even more critical that today’s youth “cling to the wisdom of their elders”. “Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you,” he said, adding “Today’s world, overcome by convenience, needs to learn anew the value of gratitude!”
Efforts to anaesthetize the hopes of youth
In today’s throwaway culture, the Pope lamented that there have been attempts to silence and “to anaesthetize” young people against the desire for a better world. “In many ways there have been endeavours to subdue and lull our children and young people into a kind of lassitude by suggesting that nothing can change, that their dreams can never come true,” he said. “Exposed to a culture that seeks to suppress all cultural heritage and features in pursuit of a homogenized world, the youth of today need to cling to the wisdom of their elders!” stated Francis. Efforts are being made to dissuade people, especially youth, against the yearning for fraternity and justice. As a result, “creation itself also raises an objection,” the Pope said.
Warning to priests and religious communities
Because Christ had invited priests and religious to share in his life, they had to be witnesses to what they have seen and heard, not “administrators of the divine”. They were not God’s employees, but were invited to share in his life. He issued a warning to those who were living in places dominated by violence, corruption, drug trafficking, disregard for human dignity and indifference.
Faced with this reality, the devil can overcome us with one of his favourite weapons: resignation Such resignation can not only cause paralysis and fear, but entrench one in false securities. It “not only prevents us from proclaiming, but also inhibits our giving praise. A resignation which not only hinders our looking to the future, but also thwarts our desire to take risks and to change”. Francis prayed: “Our Father, lead us not into temptation”.
Encouragement for youths
Francis’ message was one of encouragement, as he reiterated that young people are the richness of Mexico, a richness that must be transformed into hope, the way the minerals of a mountain must be mined and transformed.
He told young people to value themselves because the ” biggest threat to hope is when you feel that you do not matter to anybody or that you have been left aside”. In contrast, holding fast to Jesus is the way to ensure hope, even when life is full of difficulties. The Pope warned young people not to entrust themselves “to drug dealers or others who do nothing but sow destruction and death.” He stated that it is a lie that the only way to live as young people here is in poverty and exclusion – exclusion of opportunities, training, education and hope. “It is Jesus Christ who refutes all attempts to render you useless or to be mere mercenaries of other people’s ambitions.”
Message of love for children
Indicating an image of a child-martyr from the Cristero War, Jose Sanchez del Rio, the Pope told children that he would ask the grace for them to have “a lot of love so as to be serious Christians. So as to fulfill the command Jesus gave us: to love God above all things and our neighbour as Jesus loved us.”
The Holy Father invited children to pray not only for their families and friends, but also to pray for any person with whom they might be fighting urging them to “make friends and not so many enemies — because life is not beautiful with enemies.”
He invited them to continue to be creative, assuring that art and sports widen the heart. “Continue to seek beautiful things, things that last forever,” he told them.
Importance of the family
“In a family,” Pope Fancis said, “we learn closeness, we learn solidarity, we learn to share, to discern, to bear one another’s burdens, to fight and to make up, to argue and to hug each other and kiss each other. The family is the first school of the nation. ” He said the family is a source of richness and dignity, where you will find hope because Jesus is there. Francis urged “Never, never leave aside families. The family is the cornerstone in the building of a great nation.”