Monday, July 1, 2013

Go as pilgrims and be instruments of Christ

The following are excerpts taken during the World Youth Day 2013 Send-Off Mass held June 30 at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, San Bernardino.

By Bishop Gerald Barnes
Diocese of San Bernardino

There’s always a temptation to be more of a tourist. There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist. You learn things. You see things that are new. You taste new foods. You pick up a few words. And you will see how similar Brazilian Portuguese will be to Spanish, which is the language for many of our people in this diocese.

Sometimes we go as a very critical tourist, complaining about things we don’t like or that make us a little uncomfortable. And we are always thinking about what’s going on back here, not changing out watches to enter in the time of the place where we are. That’s part of who we are as humans. But we are going as pilgrims. It’s very different.

Pilgrims coming from throughout the world are coming to listen to the master, to listen to the Lord Jesus. You are going to listen to what Jesus has to say to you. And you will listen to him in what you see and what you feel in the catechetical sessions that you will attend and in the Masses and liturgies that will be celebrated. It will be the Lord Jesus who is speaking to you. Be very attentive to the lord Jesus who speaks through the other pilgrims, because they too carry the master’s message. Some of that may really affirm you or challenge you, but will always come to bring you to the Lord Jesus even better.

View photos from Send-Off Mass
You go as pilgrims. Enjoy all that you come to see and let your heart be moved by what the Lord has to tell you. Go with open hearts, open minds and open ears. The Lord waits for you in Brazil. And he gives you once again his word, his nourishment and the sacraments to fill your life again with so many others, to be pilgrims and disciples in the world.

Young people have a very special role. The Church needs you desperately. We need your witness. We need your energy. We need your passion. We need your enthusiasm. We need your creativity for the church and for the world. So go and come back inspired to strengthen our diocese here, to strengthen our parishes and to strengthen our families. So that other young people may know that it is Christ who is the way, the truth and the light. You might be instruments of Christ by having been pilgrims to World Youth Day.

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