Sunday, 21 September 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Before concluding this celebration, I wish to greet each of you who have come from all over Albania and from nearby countries. I thank you for your presence and for the witness of your faith.
In a particular way, I wish to greet the young! They say that Albania is the youngest country in Europe and I wish to greet you. I invite you to build your lives on Jesus Christ, on God: the one who builds on God builds on rock, because he is always faithful, even if we sometimes lack faith (cf. 2 Tim. 2:13). Jesus knows us better than anyone else; when we sin, he does not condemn us but rather says to us, “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11). Dear young people, you are the new generation, the new generation of Albania, the future of the country. With the power of the Gospel and the example of your ancestors and the martyrs, you know how to say “No” to the idolatry of money – “No” to the idolatry of money! –, “No” to the false freedom of individualism, “No” to addiction and to violence; you also know how to say “Yes” to a culture of encounter and of solidarity, “Yes” to the beauty that is inseparable from the good and the true; “Yes” to a life lived with great enthusiasm and at the same time faithful in little things. In this way, you will build a better Albania and a better world, in the footsteps of your ancestors.
Let us turn to the Virgin Mary, whom you venerate above all under her title of “Our Lady of Good Counsel”. I stand before her, spiritually, at her Shrine in Scutari, so dear to you, and to her I entrust the entire Church in Albania and all the people of this country, especially families, children and the elderly, who are the living memory of the people. May Our Lady guide you to walk “together with God towards the hope that does not delude.”
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