This month of July is exactly two years since 3 million young people from all around the world went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to celebrate the World Youth Day with Pope Francis. It was a privilege to be there among these young people. Back then I was still a seminarian for the priesthood for the Diocese of Westminster.
Looking back now at the events of WYD Rio 2013, two important things stood out for me. Firstly, the Pope said “There are no borders, no limits; Jesus sends us to everyone.” I am now a newly ordained Deacon, the above words prompt me every day to show humility, obedience and cooperate with the Holy Spirit to exercise my ministry with gratitude wherever and whomever I have been sent to.
Secondly, the Pope goes further to encourage young people to “Put on Christ,’ he said, ‘you will find a friend in whom you can always trust” and “your life will be full of his love.” For me, this invitation to ‘put on Christ’ entails not only kissing the feet of God’s mercy and wearing His forgiveness like a crown through the sacrament of reconciliation, but also through the Eucharist. At the Eucharist we become what we receive; the love and the mercy of God.
WYD Rio 2013 reminds me constantly that I am a missionary disciple, who needs to put on Christ and spread the Gospel. My mission has no borders and limits; this is because God’s love and mercy have no limit. His Love and Mercy endures forever.