Pope Francis’ message to the young people of Korea provides encouragement for people around the world. Reflecting on the story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:21-28), Pope Francis challenges today’s youth to hear the cry of the poor and respond with the compassion of Christ:
In your Christian lives, you will find many occasions that will tempt you, like the disciples in today’s Gospel, to push away the stranger, the needy, the poor and the broken-hearted. It is these people especially who repeat the cry of the woman of the Gospel: “Lord, help me!”. The Canaanite woman’s plea is the cry of everyone who searches for love, acceptance, and friendship with Christ. …. Let us respond, not like those who push away people who make demands on us, as if serving the needy gets in the way of our being close to the Lord. No! We are to be like Christ, who responds to every plea for his help with love, mercy and compassion.
May we all have the courage to draw near to those who struggle, and in the process, discover that we have grown closer to God.