Beauty, nature, and every human life are God's blessings to be cherished and spread, not corrupted by modern societal beliefs of what is good, ideal, or successful, said Pope Francis at a church in the famous Tokyo Dome.
The pope said to the approximately 50,000 crowds gathered for the Mass on 25 November, that "we are asked to come as a Christian Community to safeguard every life and to witness with sagacity and bravery to a lifestyle labeled by gratefulness and empathy, kindness and simply listen.
At the Vigil, with young adults earlier this day and also during a conference with state officials and community representatives, Pope Francis expressed his worry about the high suicide rates in Japan and about the immense pressure that society puts on teenagers to excel.
In his sermon, the Pope stated that liberty people should enjoy as god's children "can be suppressed and undermined if we are trapped in a vicious cycle of fear and rivalry" or if people seem to believe that what they produce or consume decides their importance.
As Jesus advises his disciples not to be worried, Pope Francis explained, he does not claim that basic needs like shelter and food are meaningless, rather he informs them that a single-minded emphasis on achievement and personal fulfillment "in fact makes us miserable and impoverished and impedes the true creation of a genuinely harmonious and humane society." "Everything irritates them; they no longer imagine, joke or enjoy. They have no curiosity or excitement. They're like zombies," he added.
The pope replied "zombies" in Spanish; he would gesture to Jesuit Father Renzo De Luca, his former student and current provincial of the Jesuits in Japan, as he deviated from his planned message, which he always does. During the trip, Father De Luca was his official translator.
Once he addressed the teenagers, Pope Francis had a 20-minute private conversation with Emperor Naruhito of Japan at the Imperial Palace. Afterward, a palace spokesperson claimed that the pope informed the emperor that he recalls seeing his family weeping after learning about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
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