Pope Francis: “You Are Women Of The Church, The Church Is Female, It Is Like Mary. This Is Your Place. Being Church, Forming The Church"

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged young people in his native Argentina to “be Church” and trust in God’s mercy. In a video message broadcast in Buenos Aires on April 26nd, for the National Youth Day, the Pope reflected on the Gospel stories of the young Apostles, the prodigal son and the widow of Nain.

“Who are you?” – Pope Francis asked the young men and women gathered at the Planetarium in the capital’s Palermo district. The Pope asked them whether they were like the first Apostles, enthusiastic fans at the outset but unable to really follow Christ because too weighed down by their attachment to worldly things? Or like the prodigal son who – after having wasted his father’s inheritance – comes back to feel his father’s embrace of mercy? Or dead like the widow’s son? “If you are dead” Pope Francis said “know that Mother Church is crying for you” like the widow and that “Jesus Christ can bring you back to life”.

Repeatedly Pope Francis spoke of God’s mercy and encouraged the young people to trust in God’s forgiveness. “Even the Apostles faltered, Peter denied him Judas betrayed him”, but it is then – he said - that we can truly encounter the Lord in the midst of our sin.

Concluding, the Pope spoke especially to the young women present: "You are on the path of those women who followed Jesus , through thick and thin”. Women, he observed, “have this great treasure to give life , to be able to give tenderness, peace and joy” that men “don’t have”. “You are women of the Church” concluded Pope Francis. “The Church is female, it is like Mary. This is your place. Being Church, forming the Church, being with Jesus, with tenderness, to accompany the Church and help it grow” .

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