Andrea Riccardi: A global friendship to live together in peace
July 19 2018 | duration: 08:53
Comunità di Sant'EgidioSant'Egidioglobal friendshipgiovani per la paceandrea riccardi
I see you’re so many, but not just this: you are also beautiful!
I am very happy to attend your meeting for the first time.
Eliane mentioned Assisi, then Paris and the legendary Barcelona.
Now, at last, in Rome.
The reason we are here is Global Friendship.
We are here to say NO to harsh words between Europeans
Between young people
Harsh words towards those coming from the South of the world
We believe there is no future for European countries opposing each other
For hostility between European nations. There is no future.
The only future is together. Friendship among Europeans.
We aren’t even satisfied with friendship among Europeans
We want a global friendship
What is beautiful here is that more than a thousand European young men and women are sharing words of friendship and solidarity
They say they don’t like words that cause division, words like weapons against each other
We don’t like them
You are here for the 50th anniversary of Sant’Egidio
And I thank you for this, for coming to Rome
I cannot tell you the whole history of Sant’Egidio
I will talk about one year: 1968
When a movement started of young people who wanted to change the world
1968 proved the audacity of young people
An astonishing audacity
It was an audacious uprising
Where was that youthful audaciousness going?
What I felt in ’68 was a beautiful momentum, lively and audacious
But it was not leading anywhere
I understood that you cannot change the world if you don’t change the heart first
To be real, revolutions must change the hearts of people
But how do you change a heart?
That was the question
And it still is today
If we want to change world
We still face the same question: how do you change the heart?
Here, dear friends, came the discovery of the Gospel
The Gospel, the Word of Jesus, words with no deception
a word that changes your heart
A word that compels you to go outwards
Out of school, out of a narrow world
to meet with the poor
To meet the poor is to start and touch the wounds of injustice in this world
It means to feel and see the injustice of the world
The encounter with the poor is the meeting your life is waiting for
It is the true school of human existence
With the poor and with the Gospel, peace begins
Peace in your life, but also peace in that neighborhood
in that care home for the elderly
Do you know what extreme poverty means for an elderly person?
Not to be called by name by anyone
The experience with the poor
The experience of friends reading the Gospel together
This made me understand something vital:
Happiness is a bread you eat together
You can see this in your families: real happiness happens when it is shared
Because happiness needs to be shared
And when it is shared, it grows
This was the beginning of the Community
This is always the beginning of the Community, every day, today
Be free, be really free
Don’t waste your freedom chasing things with no value
Chasing your own shadow
Don’t be paralyzed by fear, by calculation
Release your freedom, by living generous lives!
The world of tomorrow is not the one that someone else will leave you
Where all you can do is look for a little place where you can sleep, work and survive
The world of tomorrow is the one you create
Your strength is greater than you imagine
It is within you, in your hands, in your dreams, in your hopes
There is a strength greater that you imagine
But you need to be audacious
And finally be free
Be free to build a world of peace
And don’t wait to live today what people say you can live tomorrow
This is the moment
This day cannot be wasted
Being young doesn’t mean to sit at the station for years, waiting for your train to come
The train has come
And what I would like to do, then, is what people do at a railway station: give the announcement
“On platform one, on the platform of Rome a train has come”
It’s name is Global Friendship
Please, don’t wait for another one
Let’s all get on board
because this train is going in the right direction