Wednesday, April 11, 2012

World Youth Days Everywhere in 2012

On Palm Sunday, the Church celebrated a diocesan-level World Youth Day. The WYD theme for 2012 was inspired by St. Paul’s words in his Letter to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (4:4).  In his message for the occasion Pope Benedict XVI defined what it means to rejoice, to experience Christian joy:
Christianity is sometimes depicted as a way of life that stifles our freedom and goes against our desires for happiness and joy. But this is far from the truth. Christians are men and women who are truly happy because they know that they are not alone. They know that God is always holding them in his hands. It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring. If the way Christians live at times appears dull and boring, you should be the first to show the joyful and happy side of faith. The Gospel is the “good news” that God loves us and that each of us is important to him. Show the world that this is true! 
Be enthusiastic witnesses of the new evangelization! Go to those who are suffering and those who are searching, and give them the joy that Jesus wants to bestow. Bring it to your families, your schools and universities, and your workplaces and your friends, wherever you live. You will see how it is contagious.
One way to experience this contagious joy is to attend World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. See here for an update on WYD Rio and how its co-patron, Blessed John Paul II, is inspiring those who are planning for the special event.

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