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Pope Francis urges the Congolese youth to work for a better future, never to grow discouraged

Pope Francis meets with the Congolese Youth and catechists (Photo Screenshot and cropped from Vatican News Video)

The Pope met with the Congolese youth and catechists at the Martyr’s Stadium in Kinshasa on Thursday morning, the third day of his apostolic journey in DR Congo.

Pope Francis urged young people and catechists never to grow discouraged in working for a better future of their country.

“Never grow discouraged!” the Pope insisted.

Pope Francis recommended five ingredients for the future: prayer, community, honesty, forgiveness, and service, with the figurative symbol of five fingers.

He noted that each individual, like their hands, is unique and unrepeatable. One must also decide whether to clinch our fist or open it to God and others.

“Our thumb is closest to our heart and therefore symbolizes prayer, which provides the driving force for our life, said Pope Francis.

Pope Francis denoted the index finger, as “the community.”

He encouraged the young Congolese to build community, champion fraternity, and dream of a more united world.

“I know you have repeatedly shown that, even at great sacrifice, you are ready to stand up to defend human rights and the hope for a better future for everyone in this country,” the Pope insisted.

Pope Francis turned the middle finger as honesty, the antidote to the “cancer of corruption”.

“If someone offers you a bribe, or promises you favors and lots of money, do not fall into the trap. Do not be deceived! Do not be sucked into the swamp of evil!” the Pope reminded.

He mentioned the ring finger as “forgiveness.”

"Forgiveness means being able to start over. To forgive does not mean forgetting the past; it means refusing to repeat it," Pope Francis stated.

The last ingredient for the future is “service” which the Pope figuratively denotes the pinky finger.

Although our actions for others may be small, “it is precisely littleness, our decision to become little, that attracts God,” Pope Francis said.  - With inputs from Vatican News


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