Why is World Youth Day so important?

By Stefan Aimet

Stefan, 23, is one of our Looking to Lisbon leaders. Here he writes about why World Youth Day is so important.

Having been given the chance to be at World Youth Day in Portugal is really a gift, especially so with the Westminster Youth Ministry Looking to Lisbon group. It will be my first World Youth Day, I am incredibly excited and I think you should be too.

World Youth Day is a real opportunity to encounter Jesus personally.

You might be asking if that’s possible on such a big event with millions of people. Isn’t that a contradiction? Aren’t there too many people?

My guess is that it isn’t.

Where two or more, in this case about two million and hopefully countless many in prayer, are gathered in his name, he will be in our midst. It is his Church, and you are a part of it.

It’s not often that we meet so many people who gather at the same time for Mass. The moment we all receive Communion will surely be very special for each of us. We receive him, the risen Lord with our entire being and at the same time we’re aware that so many others in their lives have heard his call.

Jesus calls us to be close to him, but at the same time close to our brothers and sisters. He asks us to be one in him so that the world may believe.

As Pope Francis reminds us, we are the present of the Church, not the future.

For those young people who are unsure of how to live as the present of the Church, chances are this is the moment to find out what God is calling you to do. World Youth Day can be truly life changing: a huge number of people are able to testify to this truth.

Jesus needs us as a humble servants in a world full of problems to be a light. As His disciples, let us learn from and pray for each other.

Meeting people from so many different parts of the world gives new perspectives on how other Catholics around the world practice their faith. It’s a place to meet great people, some of whom may even become lifelong friends.

In sum, if you weren’t able to sign up with Westminster Youth Ministry, you should definitely do so elsewhere. The Church is truly universal, come and see for yourself!

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