Sunday, September 18, 2011

Firm In the Faith

Reflection submitted by Sean Longden
World Youth Day has impacted me in several ways since I have come back and gone off to college. It began the day I moved into college, the day after we arrived back in Framingham. I arrive at school and need to move everything, floor to ceiling, in my mom's car into my dorm room. Anyone who has gone and lived at college knows how much stuff you need and number of trips it takes to go up and down until all the items are brought in. I am about to head inside with my first load when a complete stranger comes over and helps me out with bringing everything up with my parents and I. At this moment, I looked up at the sky and smiled and said to myself "Thank you God". I felt like God and Jesus were looking down at me and brought the complete stranger to my aid, and when I was all done with unpacking everything, I said a quick prayer for the stranger, for the good deed he had done for me.

But World Youth Day didn't just impact me in that single instance alone. Everyday at meal time, I say a quick prayer thanking God for what a great gift that has been given me so far that day. No matter how good or bad a particular instance has been for me since WYD, I realize the plan that God created was for some importance in my life. It could be a big event like a new friend in your life, or it could be an argument over opinion on a subject. What matters is that we thank God for that experience to learn and always trust in God and Jesus, no matter the situation or the trouble you are in. By praying, you are showing your love; and in return God and Jesus show their love for us.

It doesn't just end their though with what I got out of World Youth Day. The special green sweatshirts saying "Boston Catholics" has been more useful here at college than actually at World Youth Day. In modern times, people are losing their faith and giving up the founding principles of their religion. It has been become acceptable for complete strangers to sleep around and have no shame in doing so. I go around campus in my green sweatshirt, and see these people, knowing very well what has been going on. I wear that sweat shirt very proudly, being a Catholic. I thank the Lord for giving me the strength to stay away from such temptations. God gave me a special gift, just like everyone else, and I don't plan on ruining the gift. I say a prayer so that I remain strong and stay away from such temptations and not go against my faith.

The final way WYD has impacted me didn't hit me until I saw "The Lion King" in 3D tonight. But how can it take a single movie to realize how WYD impacted me? It didn't take just one movie, but a combination of two movies. The other movie is the football movie "Facing The Giants." The Lion King has the love and compassion of Simba for his father, in which his father dies saving his life. His love for his father makes him feel guilty for the death and runs away from his life, only to come back and be the King of the kingdom that was his fathers. This hit me because we love one another and always try moving forward, but we always leave behind our lives as they were like Simba running away from home. But when he comes back for his spot as King, it is like when we are called back to do what we were sent out by God to do.

The same way goes for "Facing The Giants". The movie starts off with everyone losing faith, having no hope. But after God sends a very faithful christian, Mr. Bridges, the head coach regains his faith and love for God and the Lord. He then passes on his message to all his players. The entire school goes into student led confessions and forgiveness and works a miracle through the unlikeliest person. God's message is demonstrated to all. This relates to WYD in the strength of all in the movie becoming firm in the faith. Everyone grows in their relationship with the Lord.

These two movies combined demonstrate not just the love of God and Jesus, but the growing and firmness of our relationships with one another, as well as realizing what we were meant to do. Our strong friendships become stronger with our friends, to make us like brothers and sisters to each other. Being firm in the faith doesn't limit you to just God and Jesus. It allows you to also strengthen the relationships with everyone around you. You become closer to your friends through loving who they are as a person. Since I came back from World Youth Day, I have seen my friendships become stronger from the love I have for them as a person. World Youth Day taught me this through the deepening of my faith; and for this I am thankful! Thank You Lord!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Sean! I am so proud of what you have taken away from the experience that we all shared together. World Youth Day has left me with the feelings you stated so beautifully in your post.