Sunday, August 21, 2011

World Youth Day-2011-Hope From The Young

I looked in the secular press this morning and yesterday morning and in the two New York newspapers I read there was not an article, not even a small one in international news about World Youth Day. In today's Sunday NY Times, not a word (unless it was so small I missed it!) That's puzzling to me. A million or more young people from 193 countries from around the world gather in Madrid, Spain for an event and not a word. Incredible! On the front page of the Sunday NY Times there's a photograph of the turmoil in Libya, (a depressing photograph),which is, of course, important news, but not a word about one million young people gathering in peace to demonstrate faith, peace and hope. It's absurd that one million young people gathering in Spain is not news, (to some editors) no one should know about it, unless you read a Catholic newspaper, visit a Catholic website or blog or watch Catholic television??
On a more joyful note, I've been watching EWTN's coverage of World Youth Day and of Pope Benedict in Spain meeting and praying with the young pilgrims and I have been uplifted by their faith and joy. Smiling, faith-filled, joyful young people waving flags, jumping for joy and having a good time expressing their faith was cause for hope. I was particularly moved when I participated (from home) in the solemn praying of the Stations of the Cross on Friday evening. It was very moving. When the marginalized young people, with disabilities, picked up the cross and carried it so reverently I was moved to tears. (I noticed a young man with Down's Syndrome carrying the Cross so proudly, it was touching.)
It seems to me the Church gets this so right, WYD is planned with precision and it's amazing to watch it unfold thousands of miles away. What a great, inspiring Catholic event this is. This is something the Church can be proud of.
John Allen in an article called these faith-filled young people-Evangelical Catholics. I don't doubt that the future Church rests on their shoulders and others like them. Most have traveled from all parts of the globe, they are withstanding heat, discomfort and even a rainstorm on Saturday night. And still they wave their flags, they pray, and smile while giving a positive witness to us all.
From what I've observed so far on TV and from the blog posts I've read, these young people have given me hope, not only me but I'm sure all the bishops, priests, nuns and laypeople who are there as well. And of course the Pope himself. These young people are filled with the light of Christ, I'm grateful for their enthusiasm and faith. God Bless them all!

Seeing you gathered here in such great numbers, from all parts of the world, fills my heart with joy. I think of the special love with which Jesus is looking upon you. Yes, the Lord loves you and calls you His friends. He goes out to meet you and He wants to accompany you on your journey, to open the door to a life of fulfillment and to give you a share in His own closeness to the Father"..........Pope Benedict-Closing Mass-WYD-2011

**Update-Finally, on Monday, Aug. 22nd an article appeared in the New York Times about World Youth Day!