An event calling those from each corner of the Globe to represent. A communion of millions of Young people. Where Heaven meets Earth. This is World Youth Day!
St John Paul ll started WYD envisioning Young People from across the World gathering to celebrate their Faith. WYD provides this rare opportunity and both Poland in 2016 and Panama in 2019 have powerfully shaped my Faith in unique ways.
Before we travelled to Panama we stayed with families from the parish of Sacred Heart Hatillo, Costa Rica. One day, with young people from the Dominican Republic, we helped the local community serve those without a stable home by making sandwiches for them and shared an afternoon playing music and dancing together. This struck me – I realised we were very literally living out the message of the Gospels: “For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink”. (Matthew 25:35).
Later in Panama we shared a time of Adoration with the Holy Father on a field of millions of people. You’d expect noisiness but I heard nothing but silence. Utter silence. I witnessed a sea of people - hands grasped in Prayer, eyes fixed on Jesus. It was so deeply moving to see all of these people, my age, sharing what I believe.
Through these encounters World Youth Day has kindled in me what it truly means to live being Christ-like.
Reflection from Chris Burkette a member of the Walsingham House team.