VIDEO MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE WORLD INDIGENOUS YOUTH GATHERING (EMJI)
[Soloy-Panama, 17-21 January 2019]
Dear Young People,
At the end of World Youth Day in Krakow in July 2016, I said to the young volunteers: ‘Let us remember our past in order to build hope with courage’. And this is the motto that you chose for this World Meeting of Indigenous Youth which has brought you together from 17 to 21 January (pre-wyd), in Soloy, Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé, Diocese of David, in Panama.
I congratulate you because it is the first time that a pre-wyd meeting has been organized specifically for young members of indigenous peoples, native peoples, worldwide. I would like to thank the Indigenous Pastoral Section of the Episcopal Conference of Panama, supported by celam, for this initiative.
Dear young people, I invite you to make this Meeting — which brings together hundreds of young people from different native peoples — serve as a reflection and celebration of your faith in Jesus Christ, beginning with the age-old richness of your original cultures. I urge you to make this an opportunity to respond to the invitation made to you young people on other occasions, to be grateful for the history of your peoples and courageous before the challenges that surround you, in order to go forth filled with hope in building another possible world. Return to your cultures of origin. Take charge of your roots, because from the roots comes the strength that will make you grow, flourish and bear fruit. Moreover, it must be a way to show the indigenous face of our Church in the wyd environment and affirm our commitment to protect the Common Home and to cooperate in building another possible, more equitable and more humane world.
Undoubtedly the topics that — according to the agenda will be the subject of your reflection — will stimulate the search for answers, from the evangelical point of view, to the many truly scandalous situations of alienation and exclusion, rejection and impoverishment to which millions of the world’s young people are condemned, especially the youth of native peoples. May your actions, the awareness of belonging to your peoples, be a reaction against this throwaway culture, against this culture oblivious to roots, projected towards an ever more liquid and gaseous, foundationless future.
Boys and girls, take charge of your cultures! Take charge of your roots! But do not stop there. From those roots, may you grow, flourish and bear fruit. A poet once said: “all the tree’s blossoms come from what lies beneath”. The Roots, but roots facing the future. Projected towards the future. This is the challenge that awaits you today.
It will be a pleasure for me to meet you in Panama. And as we await that moment, I wish you all the best in your Meeting, and I give you my blessing.
God bless you!
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