‘The Bright Knight’ Illuminates Sydney

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress

Pope Benedict XVI rekindles ‘the Light’ at the World Youth Day in Australia

With all that’s happening to the world today,holding on to our faith takes a little more effort, especially for the youth. At present, there are too many things that distract our young people that we wonder about their future and how they can have a life with meaning. Because of this, the Church has found a way to unite the world’s youth and send its message of hope.

And it all began with Pope John Paul II’s love for young people. In 1984, during Palm Sunday, the Pope convoked the youth of Rome to celebrate with him the Holy Year of Redemption. The response was enthusiastic, that in 1985, he wrote a letter to the young people of the world.

“All young people,” said Pope John Paul in the annual encounter with the Roman Curia, “should feel followed by the Church, that is why all the Church, in union with the Successor of Peter, feels more and more committed, on a world scale, on behalf of young people, their worries, their questions, their openness and their hopes, to respond to their expectations, by communicating the certainty who is Christ, the Truth who is Christ, love who is Christ…”

This opened the door to World Youth Day, which is held annually in the local Churches on Palm Sunday and every two or three years on an international level, traveling from continent to continent.

The Philippines was the host country for the World Youth Day in 1995. Presided by the late Pope John Paul II, it was his second trip to the Philippines. It was a joyous celebration of brothers and sisters, to worship and to learn of each other’s cultures. The Pope’s close relationship with the Filipinos was evident, since the closing Mass held in Luneta Park was attended by more than fi ve million people, considered to be the largest papal gathering in Roman Catholic history.

This year’s World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia and presided by Pope Benedict XVI, has again called in the faithful. Reaching out to participants, the Holy Father sent out his message, “This will be the XXIII World Youth Day and the theme will be: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.” The theme is a verse from Acts 1:8, refl ecting on the Spirit of Fortitude and Witness.

This is the shining message that the Church and Holy Father want to convey – to have the courage to live according to the Gospel – and to boldly proclaim it. (www.asianjournal.com)

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