I received great affirmations from the Lord after attending the World Youth Day in Madrid. Before going there, I was really praying that God would transform my WYD journey into a real pilgrimage.
I dreamed of attending a World Youth Day because when the WYD happened in Manila, I was 5 months short of age to qualify. I was 12 years old then and the minimum age was 13. And so when our Servant General pushed the idea of sending FTWs to the WYD in Madrid, I knew God wanted me to meet Him there. Thanks to the community’s generosity, I was able to participate in the WYD together with other FTWs.
The theme of the World Youth Day 2011 was “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf.Col 2:7). During the WYD preparatory sessions before we left Madrid, Bishop Bong Baylon (CBCP-ECY Chairman) shared about what “Firm in the Faith” means. He compared it with Jesus’ call of Peter to walk on water. When Peter hid the call of the Lord, he was stepping on an uncertain foundation in the water but he was focused on Jesus, his real foundation. That is why Peter was able to do the impossible.
When we were in the World Youth Day, the central message of the Lord for me was to be firm in the faith. He wanted me to follow the footsteps of Peter. He was asking me to do the impossible. But because of our exhausting and busy schedules, I found it hard to understand what the Lord’s message was. I was disturbed at that moment. I knew God was revealing to me something important.
And so when we came back, I dedicated some time in prayer. And by God’s grace, I received a great affirmation from the Lord. He was asking me to totally give up my life for Him! He wanted me to serve Him faithfully as a Priest. Now I am stepping out of my boat and depending only on Him. All He is telling me is to hold on to His promise and to be firm in the faith!