As I stood in the midst of an overwhelming amount of people at the World Youth Day Papal Mass at Randwick recently I was overcome with the significance of what has happening in and around me.
The week leading up to this I had been witness to 55,000 pilgrims (2500 per hour) come through the Vocations Expo held as one part of the WYD08 activities at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The words of Pope Benedict XVI rang in my ears as he spoke to the young people of the world:
“Dear young people, let me now ask you a question. What will you leave to the next generation?
“Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure? Are you living your lives in a way that opens up space for the Spirit in the midst of a world that wants to forget God, or even rejects him in the name of a falsely-conceived freedom?
“How are you using the gifts you have been given, the “power” which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you? What legacy will you leave to young people yet to come? What difference will you make?”
At the Vocations Expo I had been witness to the legacy of what has been left us, the history and future of the Church on display for the world to see.
Here we saw religious orders, outreach ministries, education, vocation offices, seminaries and ecclesial movements giving exposure to the charisms and gifts that God had brought forth in them because of their “yes”. I have little more to say other than to leave you with lines from part of Pope Benedict’s homily:
“The power of the Holy Spirit does not only enlighten and console us. It also points us to the future, to the coming of God’s Kingdom …
“St Luke tells us that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all God’s promises, the Messiah who fully possesses the Holy Spirit in order to bestow that gift upon all mankind. The outpouring of Christ’s Spirit upon humanity is a pledge of hope and deliverance from everything that impoverishes us.
“It gives the blind new sight; it sets the downtrodden free, and it creates unity in and through diversity. … This power can create a new world: it can ‘renew the face of the earth’!
“Open your hearts to that power! I address this plea in a special way to those of you whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood and the consecrated life.
“Do not be afraid to say ‘yes’ to Jesus, to find your joy in doing his will, giving yourself completely to the pursuit of holiness, and using all your talents in the service of others!”
Do not be afraid to talk with your friends and people that you trust about what God might be saying to you. Do not be afraid to be God’s witness on this earth.
Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call the Vocations Office if you are feeling that God might be calling you to something. Do not be afraid to say “Yes”!
As part of the world and the Church we need this in our archdiocese and I look forward to talking with young men and women as they answer the call that God has placed within them.
Vocation Promotions Officer – Archdiocese of Brisbane
Released by The Catholic Leader