In an exclusive message recorded during his recent visit to Cyprus, Pope Francis urged the youth of Bethlehem and the Holy Land to stay true to their roots in the land where Jesus was born.
I would like to greet you from Cyprus. I am close to you on the other side. I think of you very much, you who are in the Holy Land… a place of pilgrimage which, unfortunately, has suffered in a special way because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Sometimes you do not know what to do, sometimes you think that there is no future and that is why you meditate on emigrating elsewhere… Please, do not let yourself get caught up in these negative thoughts.
Look ahead, look at the horizon! There is always a horizon in life. We can do two things: look down or look at the horizon. Try to look at the horizon! There is always a promise, and when the promise is guaranteed by God’s word, it never disappoints. Hope does not disappoint; God does not disappoint. Instead: commit to your land, commit to your country, commit to your history. And carry that human vocation that God has given you! Do not give up, always look ahead, do not abandon the dream of building, of advancing your people, of growing your roots, your cultural wealth, your religious wealth.
Forming a family is difficult in the present situation, but do not lose hope: hope does not disappoint! On this Christmas Eve, who would have thought that this child was the son of God? The Wise Men sensed it and were ready to take the risk.
That’s why I say to you: in the midst of poverty, in a time of wars, of limitations, of barriers, of lack of freedom, think of the crib of Jesus. And just as He did what He did from a manger, you too in situations of contradiction can do great things! Bet on the future, dare! And you will see how God will bless you.
And please don’t forget to pray for me.
Thank you very much.