You know I am a big fan of Fr Robert Barron and Word on Fire, and what he has to say about the mainstream media simply ‘not getting’ World Youth Day is insightful. World Youth Day did not ‘fit’ with the reading of reality that the media want to portray – ‘good’ ideologies gradually replacing the old, fading Christianity – which is why they focussed on what was insignificant (a few protesters) compared to what was significant and real – a convergence of 1.5 million of young people from around the world in one place, united by their faith.
I have just returned from a smaller scale youth event – but still probably the biggest Catholic youth event in the UK – the Youth 2000 Festival in Walsingham. Here, Jesus has shown us over the weekend that by simply being faithful to Him – facilitating an event where He is present for five days, and creating the conditions for young people to be drawn into and open to His Presence – He will Himself enter lives and transform hearts. Last night we heard testimony after testimony of teenagers and young adults in their early twenties, whose emptiness and brokenness had been filled and touched by Christ. Once again He has shown me how HE does all the work – we just need to be open to what He wants to do, and tirelessly extend an invitation to all young people – Catholic and non-Catholic – He desires each one of them to be intimately in relationship with Him.
Hopefully I will soon be able to share some photos with you of this event 🙂