By Thaddeus Jones
Pope Francis has sent a video message in Spanish to young people involved in preparations for World Youth Day 2023, which will take place from 1-6 August in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Pope said he looks forward to meeting young people for the celebrations just as they do in gathering together from around the globe for the international celebrations.
Instill hope and be creative
The Pope acknowledged the difficult context that we are living today, coming out of the pandemic crisis and now faced with a new war crisis.
Despite these great challenges, he encouraged the volunteers to use all their creative energy to ensure that WYD 2023 will be a youthful, joyful, lively, and memorable experience for all, offering the joyful hope that faith in God brings.
He called on them to be creative like poets to dream up a new experience that will be remembered and not just a repeat of previous WYD gatherings. Everyone can contribute here, the Pope said, saying, “Take courage and strive ahead!”
Crises overcome together
The Pope called on them to see how we can address and overcome the crises the world faces today with the witness of hope that comes from faith.
The crises offer us an opportunity to work for the better and to come out of them better, he underscored, reminding them to unleash their creative zeal in looking ahead to WYD 2023.
The Pope assured them of his prayers and requested their prayers for him and his ministry, asking the Lord to bless them and the Virgin Mary to protect them.