Wednesday, July 23, 2008

World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia -- remembering and celebrating

And, next time (2011) in Madrid, Spain!

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses "(Acts 1:8) was the theme of this year's WYD 08 in Sydney, Australia.

Guy Sebastian and Paulini, Catholic recording artists from Australia, sang the theme song, You Will Receive Power (echoing the above text). This was apparently popular among the pilgrims as evidenced by its rather extensive use throughout World Youth Day and, by looking at the cameras sweeping the crowd, the number of people (at least attempting in English) singing its refrain.

Pope Benedict XVI seemed to emphasize to the participants that all the baptized are missionaries, and encouraged all the youth present physically and virtually to be missionaries of Jesus' Gospel.

The Franciscans, of many stripes, were well represented at this year's events. Our General Minister, Fr. Jose Carballo Rodriguez, OFM (originally from Spain) was present with a delegation of OFMs from around the world, including Australia itself.

The Holy Father exhorted all the participants to let their light shine, and that light is Jesus Christ! I was deeply impressed by the missionary emphasis given. Our own General Minister has been likewise encouraging us Franciscan Friars to remember our missionary charism, whether we work in our native lands (like me!) or far from our respective homes in lands abroad.

The prospect of being Christ's witnesses (martyrs! -- from the Greek) to all the world is a fundamental and radical invitation and call, don't you think? What do you think about witnessing for Jesus -- at home, at work, at school? It can be pretty scary! And, pretty exciting!

And yet, the promise of the Risen Lord, preceeding Pentecost, is that we will receive the very power of God, the Holy Spirit! And we have received him at our Baptism and were sealed with the same gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. So, we can be witnesses, effective witnesses, even if others reject us (remember Jesus!).

Hope you get a chance to see the video footage and to hear the song, You Will Receive Power. Both are very encouraging and uplifting. I felt so blessed to be a Catholic Christian, as well as a Franciscan Friar and priest!

So, Spain is going to be the sight for new pilgrims and repeat pilgrims in 2011 for WYD! And the Franciscans will be there -- again -- as pilgrims and participants!


Sister Florence Vales OSC said...

Father KIm,
Lovely and very good about the WYD.

Connie said...

FR.KIM Peace Thank You for a very wonderful article about so many young people participating in WYD I am certain that had a very spiritual experience being with the HOLY FATHER POPE BENEDICT XVI and his very inspiring and up-lifting messages about our world and it's futures the deceased HOLY FATHER POPE JOHN PAUL II once told our young people that they were the FUTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NOW (as well as in the future).How very inspiring to know that they realized they are our future and what a great showing of thier faith in GOD by sharing spreading the GREAT NEWS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. May God Bless all of them and may all of them, and all of us continue to follow in the footsteps of our LORD JESUS CHRIST!FR.KIM GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FRANCISCAN PROVINCE. Thank You Connie

Vila said...

People should read this.