Why World Youth Day?
Why would 1 1/2 million youth from around the world attempt to raise money, many of them for over a year, to travel to Spain to maybe get a glimpse of a 80 plus year old man and to hear him speak?
This is a question that has so many in our culture baffled? They don't understand! How can a man that must be so out of touch with the youth of today draw so many from all over the globe?
The answer is simple!
They are not coming to see the man, but they are coming to see the Vicar of Christ. They are not coming to see Mr. Ratzinger the professor, but rather the priest and now Pope, the successor of Peter himself.
Todays Gosel clearly helps us understand:
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter (our first Pope) said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
It is the Pope who is the rock and whom the earthly church is built upon. And Jesus promised that evil shall not prevail against it.
These youth understand that our church is bleeding, the world is bleeding, yet the truth lies in the church and through the direction of the Pope. He has been given the knowledge and keys to the kingdom of heaven.
We live in a world of lies..... The evil one has manipulated and distorted almost everything and this has affected the world gravely. Yet Christ promised that the devil would not prevail. There is hope, our hope is in Christ and in the youth of today who can see through the distortions, rhetoric, and the lies.
The pope said earlier this week that the TRUTH is not a slogan, nor an ideology, but rather a person, and that person is Jesus Christ. These youth have been introduced to the person who is TRUTH, and nothing can compare to HIM once you have met HIM and experienced HIM.
And to many, Christ is manifested here on earth in the persona of the Pope. They see in him the face of Christ. They hear in him the words of Christ. The feel in him - Christ!
That relationship, that encounter, is our hope for the future. These youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. This is the army that will fight against the evil of the world.....
So why world youth day!
It not only gives an opportunity of so many youth to see and experience Christ here on earth in a physical way, but also reassures the world of believers that the Holy Spirit is alive!