Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Pilgrim's Perspective

Reflection submitted by Sean Longden:

It has been three long years since the 2008 WYD in Sydney. The first time around, it was an all new experience with meeting people from around the world in which we all celebrated together. It drew into me a strengthening of faith, as well as the realization of the work of Jesus and God in everyone's lives. It opened my eyes to those who have devoted their life's work to such a ministry in which they choose to serve God, rather than serve the personal goals that they put aside. It was an impression that left me thinking for months about the world and how similar we are to one another even if we have differences.

Today, I look forward to the experience as a veteran, knowing what I am to expect. My perspective is that we are all here called to gather not to benefit ourselves, but for us to share our love with another and show what it means to be Catholic. Yes, we do get to travel, but it is not a vacation. It is a pilgrimage, in which we become firm in the faith and go about everyday to daily Masses.

It is about learning about Jesus and God, with their role in the world around us. We care for another, so when one falls as Jesus did 3 times before dying on the cross, we help each other back up. We go on a journey of faith in which we go walking for miles just to have a Mass. It only demonstrates the demand on the person in which I remember Father Rowan saying "The soul is strong, but the mind is weak". We all have this ability to give this effort inside of us within our souls, but we are too weak to think like when Jesus had asked his disciples to pray for him in the garden the night he was arrested.

This pilgrimage in a way is also a new beginning, going as a young adult this time. It gives me more of an opportunity to meet people my own age to go into discussion groups about what we had experienced and reflection. Through this WYD, I find that I will experience the feeling of putting a building block on top of another with strengthening my faith. I expect to pick up right where I left off. It brings me back to the thinking of how we are all connected and similar in our faith in which we bring the world together. It is this that goes back to the theme of this WYD. To be built up, and be firm in the faith is what I expect to come out of this WYD.

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