|– Jeanette DeMelo|
What was striking about the showing was that among the groups of those in attendance, a group from Sydney who did not speak either of those languages stayed for the entire film and were very much affected by its message, very excited to learn even more. They are ready to be Messenger Eagles, among the many hundreds of thousands of youth already here ready to go out and “make disciples of all nations,” the call from Pope Francis and WYD for all here.
One of the things that was most striking in our conversations following the film was the fervent desire of anyone we spoke with to stand up for life and for our faith, citing Our Lady of Guadalupe’s role as Patroness of Life. Back in Australia, they are among many who participate for 40 Days for Life and ask her intercession so that babies, born and unborn, will at least have the chance at life. And the great thing is that they will now know why, which, when coupled with the entire WYD experience, will better equip them to go back home and “be not afraid” to stand firm in their faith. And the Lord knows we need the youth to do that.
Finally, we took a stroll over to the opening Mass right on Copacabana beach, in which hundreds of thousands of people were gathered. I’m sure you have seen the imagery of the many flags and people, but it was in walking among these many people that you can just see and feel the love of God forming and strengthening our Church, as we all come together as one.
The Mass’ readings and music were in different languages, but it did not affect the participation of the many present. And knowing our call to spread the faith and make disciples of all nations, it was a glimpse of the future of our Church as it rests on the shoulders of the youth. May God strengthen and equip them in this mission.