IS THERE LIFE AFTER World Youth Day?
What do we do when the young people who have experienced such tremendous WYD moments “come down from the mountain” and return to our parish communities? Do they become discouraged? Quit? Complain? Play victim card? Go back to their old ways?
- Before WYD 2002 in Toronto (Canada) Pope John Paul saw Canadian society as well as the world of Western culture steeped in mediocrity and darkness.
- To the youth, he put out a biblical theme that was providential and highly appropriate for young people who, at the time, we’re looking for a different kind of message. For a world that was steeped in mediocrity: “You are the salt of the earth.” For a society driving itself deeper into darkness, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14).
Pope John Paul II taught us :
- the adventure of orthodoxy,
- the beauty of marriage,
- the sacredness of family life,
- the challenge of fidelity
- personal integrity, authenticity and solidarity — are what attracts young people today.
Young people don’t want to live on the surface. In a world that constantly panders to their every need and want and addiction and desire – a challenging Church, which combines the truth with charity and pastoral care – is a very attractive proposition.
“But how do you do this” our young people would ask?
- Benedict began by teasing out an answer during his first WYD 2005 in Cologne, Germany: “Listen for God’s whispers – and – Let yourself be surprised by Christ.”
- For the Sydney experience of World Youth Day in 2008, Pope Benedict allowed the young people of the world to encounter or perhaps rediscover the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives and in the life of the Church. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and then you must go out and be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:8)
Now Pope Francis announced this week the YOUTH THEMES FOR NEXT THREE YEARS leading up to the 2016 WYD in Krakow, Poland:
- The 2014 theme will reflect on the first beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven,”
- The following year, 2015, will be devoted to the theme “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
- These two years will culminate with the international World Youth Day in 2016 which will draw together the previous topics by finishing off with the theme “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
. .. and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
There are those who would write off the Catholic Church as dead – and that the Church is irrelevant to the young. The problem is that they haven’t asked the youth about that (Just take a look at the picture above of the 1.5 million “uninterested” youth on Copacabana Beach at World Youth Day in Rio this past summer).
Why did the Sadducees fight Jesus so much on the topic of the Resurrection? Is it possible that the Sadducees just couldn’t imagine anything bigger or better than the small world they knew.
Proof of the resurrection:
Not one of the martyrs gave up the information where the body was.
Reason was there was no dead body,
There is life after death. There is SOMETHING MORE.
IS THERE LIFE AFTER:
World Youth Day?
The wedding ?
After the birth of your first child?
Is there something coming? Is there something more?
“You are the salt of St. Monica”
“You are the light of Berwyn and Devon – and beyond”
“Listen for God’s whispers
Let yourself be surprised by Christ.”
You must encounter or rediscover the Holy Spirit in your life and in the life of the Church and receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you
For you must go out and you will be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:8)