Yesterday marked the start of World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain, which will see up to 2 million young Catholics gather from across the globe over the coming week. On Sunday Pope Bendict XVI will celebrate the final Mass. You can get regular up dates here on Catholic Maynooth.
At the opening mass, celebrated by the Archbishop of Madrid, he gave the young people a warm welcome to Spain and challenged the youth to live the “Euchristic celebration” and to witness to their peers. He reminded young people of the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II when he said, “do not be afraid to be a saint, let Christ reign in your hearts”.
He spoke about how everyone has a role in the new evangelization within the Catholic church. He said, “lay people have a leading role, especially married couples and christian families”. He reminded the young people that God is calling some of them to the religious life and the priesthood and encouraged young people to listen for the call. He preached to those gathered that if they felt in their hearts God’s calling, that is could be the call of God to follow Christ. He encouraged them not to silence it but to be generous and respond as Mary did offering their “yes” and their life.
By Steven Fleming