Journey 35 - Spring 2008
Receive the Power
The first three issues of Journey have included inspiring stories and vivid photos of the experience of World Youth Day in our diocese. From the Journey of the Cross and Icon, to Days in the Diocese and the Week itself, these pages have tried to catch a sense of the joy and involvement of so many people.
What will the next issue of Journey hold?
World Youth Day offered something intangible, and there can be frustration as we settle back into the familiar. Where now are the happy pilgrims, vibrant celebrations, camaraderie and public displays of faith? What started out as being a boost in our faith-life may quickly deflate if we are not careful. We can begin asking questions of why the church has to be a certain way, or why the leaders will not let certain things happen. Leaders in turn may ask why people are not as inspired as they should be or willing to take a risk. World Youth Day seemed to promise so much—where is the great transformation?
Surely it is unrealistic to think World Youth Day can roll on and on in the church like a wave gathering momentum. So is all that is left to expect it to peter out like a wave that spends its energy upon the shore? Another way may be to return to the theme of Acts 1:8—“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” Note that the quote is not – “the leaders will receive power”, or “the structures will receive power”. No. It was each person, each of us, who received the Spirit’s power. After all it was not the enormous crowds, music, festivals and liturgies that made the difference when we think about it. It was the people we encountered. It was their friendship, their enthusiasm, their faith that somehow animated us. World Youth Day was a vessel to enable these connections to happen, but they were made between people.
If the fire of World Youth Day is burning in your heart now do not wait for Madrid. Share that power with the next person you encounter. No program, structure or event will recapture the spirit of World Youth Day. Rather, we are the legacy.
Receive the power. Be God’s witnesses. This is our time.