Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Update #1 of World Youth Day Madrid

There's a tradition that St. James the Greater preached the Gospel in Spain and later returned to Jerusalem.  As we see in Acts of the Apostles, he is martyred for his Master in the holy city.

Source: http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/jamesGreater.html

Over the centuries, the Church in Spain had a glorious history.  She produced many saints and teachers of the Faith.  (Some even joke that half of heaven speaks Spanish!)

Another fruit was planting the Cross among the thousands of islands in the Far East, specifically in the Philippines.

Today, this Pearl of the Orient republic, that great pearl of great price, in turn, sends her own sons and daughters as missionaries around the world.  The Filipino diaspora both plants the Cross and nourishes it in many lands.

When World Youth Day was held in Manila in 1995, it was the largest recorded gathering of human beings in the history of the planet!

How's that for the Guinness Book?

From St. James the Greater, brother of St. John the Evangelist, in the Holy Land, to Spain, to Manila, to Guinness, and now back to Spain, there is an urgent message for the New Jerusalem.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Susan Vera, 2011

At the WYD kick off, the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, along with the Cardinal President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, preached in the city.

The average age of registered attendees is 22 years old.

Can you imagine?  For each participant, that's almost 50 more years of service to the Gospel assuming a long life expectancy.

Some of the points today's message included:

  • The Pope and the Church love the youth.
  • Bl. John Paul II had a passionate love for Jesus Christ that fascinated young people.
  • Countless vocations as priests, nuns and married life have emerged from World Youth Days.
  • Don't be afraid of being a saint.
  • Respond to Jesus with a "yes".
  • Faith is nourished by the Word of God and the Sacraments of the Church.
  • Youth are the generation of Benedict XVI which is different from the JP2 Generation.
  • There are new difficulties and challenges that the B16 Generation is experiencing that the JP2 Generation did not experience.
  • Spiritual and moral relativism have weakened today's youth.
  • Youth still say "yes" to God before the whole world, especially Europe which is "showing signs of being very lost" [turning away from its Christian roots].
  • Youth practice the Sacraments, especially Penance [i.e., going to Confession], serving the poor and the sick, and helping those in need.
  • Like Mary, who is protecting the pilgrims, be joyful in your response to God.
  • Give your life to Christ!
Photo credit: REUTERS/Susana Vera, 2011
Here's a video clip on what is WYD.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Susana Vera, 2011
Papa Benny is scheduled to arrive this Thursday.

Patron saints of World Youth Day, pray for us!

HW: Review the video clip on WYD.

Class dismissed.

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