A pilgrim’s experience: different every time!

Have you ever been on a pilgrimage? I’ve been to several and I can say that there are some characteristics that all of them have in common, like going out of our comfort level, finding the unexpected, acquiring new physical and spiritual habits, living with a new group of people for days or weeks, making new friends, etc. But at the same time, each pilgrimage is different and unique.

Every time we go on a journey we are eager to find out what is coming next. Filled with excitement, we just want to get there and discover “a new world”… Most importantly though, we want to know what God wants us to discover about ourselves and the world. He is Truth itself, and He shows us the truth. But we need to be open to embracing it. 

This past July I went to Brazil for World Youth Day. I was one of the millions who took part in this beautiful journey of faith. The theme of WYD this year was “Go and make disciples of all nations.” These are the words that Jesus used to send off His disciples, and He still uses those same words to invite us to share the gift of faith with everyone, to share the personal encounter we have with Him who is risen. 

What did I find on my pilgrimage this time? I’ve found a Pope full of energy, who was able to spiritually enlighten about four million young people. I’ve found a generation hungry and thirsty for meaning, a courageous generation open to facing new challenges and to go against today’s world, embracing the opportunity to change their lives according to the Gospel.

Despite the portrait of the youth that the media gives us every day, I believe the facts show that the Gospel is the answer to every human being, and in a special way, to the youth and young adults that are looking for meaning. The Pope addressed the youth telling them to live life to the fullest. He said: “Dear young people don’t spend life on the sidelines, get involved! Jesus didn't stay in the sidelines....He got involved!” In my opinion this is something we all need to remember: we all have a place in our world today. How are you contributing to shape our world today? (To be continued)

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