It was a privilege for me to participate at the World Youth Day in Madrid this year 2011 with our fabulous group from the Holy Spirit Church, City Beach.
We went to Madrid to be with millions of other young people from around the world who like us are trying to grow more in catholic faith.
Before the Mass with the Holy Father Benedict XVI, we listened to catechesis given us by the bishops from different parts of our Globe.
I remember especially teaching by Archbishop of New York, and the Head of the US Bishops conference, Timothy Dolan, His Grace taught us about love for the Church.
He said that at time is hard to love the Church because of ‘wrongdoing’ of some members of the Church. He was very clear on this matter ("We see the Church sinful. We see the Church scarred...").
However, he said, we ought to love our Church because the Church is Christ. (Archbishop Dolan reminded us the story of St Paul when before his conversion he persecuted the Church. Jesus didn’t say to Soul why you are persecuting my Church. Jesus said: "Saul, why are you persecuting me?")
"Christ is true God and true Man", continued Archbishop. "In the side of man He hangs upon the Cross bleeding, dirty, rejected (...) and (...) put to death. But that time is the time when He is most God. The Church is also divine. The Church is the Bride of Christ and we see Her drop-death beautiful and attractive (...), said Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
To show our loyalty to the Church, his Grace told us, is a great strategy of evangelization and missionary work.
When we were baptized, we were called to evangelize.
How can we do this?
First of all we can evangelize by the works of charity; whatever we do we should do with God’s love. While exercising charity we need to share our hope-what God promised He will keep it! We should also share our joy. The Archbishop taught us a recipe for a genuine joy. In that recipe:
J stands for Jesus. God must always be in the first place in our daily schedule.
O stands for others. Care for others should go before us.
Y stands for you and me, meaning for ourselves.
Before the Holy Father Benedict XVI sent us out, he encouraged us to be 'ambassadors' of the joy-that today’s world seek for; the joy, that has a Name and a Face of Jesus Christ.