(Vatican Radio) To the extent God freely granted us the gift of life and the created world, we in turn should donate and share with others to create a better world, Pope Francis said on Monday. Faced with the ecological crisis we are going through, the perspective of donation received and given to those coming after us is indeed a reason for commitment and hope, he told some 150 members of the Italian Donation Institute (IID) in the Vatican. “We have the duty to preserve and hand down to future generations an intact planet that we have received as a free gift from God’s goodness,” he told the institute ahead of Italy’s Donation Day on October 4, that it sponsors.
God’s gift – life and creation
The Pope reminded them that the greatest gift that God has given to each one of us is life, which is part of another divine original gift which is creation. Hence, he said, “All of us must feel it a great responsibility to safeguard and care for creation, protecting it from various forms of degradation.”
Pope Francis explained that both the gift of life and the gift of creation usher from God’s love for mankind. To the extent to which we open ourselves to and welcome God’s love, we can in turn become the gift of love to our brothers. This love of God, he said, is particularly demonstrated in the Last Supper where Jesus left his disciples the “new commandment” of love. The newness of this commandment, he said, lies the donation of his life for us which translates in the service of others.
The Pope further explained that this love knows how to humble itself, refuses every form of violence, respects freedom, promotes dignity and rejects every discrimination. “An unarmed love proves stronger than hatred,” the Pope said, urging all to model themselves to the way of Jesus.
Donation – young people
Pope Francis regarded Italy’s Donation Day particularly relevant for children and youth to help them open their minds and hearts to brotherhood and sharing, and building the civilization of love. He wished that young people be able to discover that donating is freely giving a part of ourselves to others, not to lose it but to increase its value. Donating makes both the giver and the receiver happy, and creates bonds and relationships that strengthen hope in a better world.