Today at Jamboree I attended Buddhist, Sikh, and Latter-day Saint services, but I missed the big one. The Catholic Mass filled the hillside at the AT&T Summit Stadium with nearly 7,500 Jamboree participants. I watched in amazement as so many youth would set aside time to do their duty to God.
Later in the day I found Scouters that shared Archbishop Christophe Pierre’s message with me. In his homily, he said that Scouting develops generosity, service and fraternity, which are all values needed our our world today.
“These values are the antidote to the selfishness and individualism of our society …Scouting also encourages you to work together as a team, to share adventures, and to have a greater vision of life and creation,” the Crux reported.
Archbishop Pierre shared Pope Francis’s prayers for and his “personal closeness to all gathered” at the Jamboree and then recounted his own years in Scouting in France.
In his message, he said “amid the beauty of creation, Scouts ponder the God who made all things and who invites us to a relationship with Him. Scouting demands that we do our duty toward God, including worshipping him.”
“We have a God who cares for us and he sent his Son to be born, not in power and majesty, but in poverty and weakness – as a child to teach [us] about the kingdom of his father, …It was not a kingdom of power or violence, but one of justice, love, and truth. To teach the crowds, Jesus told parables – stories – just like we share stories in Scouting. Jesus’ stories point us to something new, something beyond this world.”
“Jesus reminds us of the need to be vigilant – to stay awake, to be vigilant and keep watch, to be ready to preserve the grace we first received in baptism,” Pierre continued. “Scouts know about staying awake and keeping vigil by the campfire; about being ready and alert; about watching for danger. We need to do the same with our souls, guarding them from the enemy.
“After keeping watch over our souls, we can look to the needs of others, as a church that goes forth… Our own commitment to holiness, to our neighbor, to the environment, and to being honest and decent can be an antidote for our culture and world.”
He said Scouting, “cultivates in young people a real spirit of adventure, a zeal for exploration and for mission. The Lord is counting on you.” He added, “The Holy Father is asking you, the Scouts, to be vigilant – to look out for your brothers and sisters and to be patient… The important thing is to persevere, to not give up in your mission and to not give up on others, hoping that they might have new life.”
THe Crux reported his words, “Scouts are called to be ‘leaven’ in a world today that ‘is plagued by isolation, selfishness and individualism. In contrast, Scouts know something about being together, including others, and teamwork. Everyone must contribute something.’”
He closed with the Scout Prayer that he had learned as a Scout in his youth. He asked the Scouts to make the prayer their own by reciting it first in French and then in English:
“O Lord, teach me to be generous;
To serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To labor and not to seek for rest;
To toil and not to seek any reward;
Except that of knowing that I am doing your holy will.”
This story incorporated wire reports from the Associated Press, Crux staff and the Voice of Scouting writing team.