That road less travelled

210922_10150287372019933_2663694_o(by Jermer Cruz)

World Youth Day Madrid is definitely one of the best experiences that I have in my life now. It is a story that will forever be shared not only today, but for the rest of my life; for this generation and for the generations to come. And because it is one of the best, I really want to experience it again. Why?

First, I want to experience it while I am still young. I am turning 26 this year and I know that I am not getting any younger. I know that World Youth Day is also for the not-so-young, we even have priests and nuns who are participating in that big event. But I want to experience it why I still have the strength to walk kilometres and for hours, while I can still take the heat of the sun and enjoy the noisy crowd. I want to experience it why I can still enjoy it as a young person, celebrating faith and sharing it to other young people all round the world. I know that I am right for this celebration while I am still on my youth age.

Second, there is no better way to celebrate Faith and World Youth Day but with your fellow missionaries. World Youth Day in Madrid was a very, very wonderful experience because I was with my brothers and sisters. We learned a lot, deepened our faith, shared to one another the joy and happiness of being a Catholic and being part of the community. There was never a dull moment in the entire journey, from the Philippines all the way to Madrid and even back to Manila. Yes we had lots of fun, but in one way or another, the brotherhood and sisterhood deepened.

And third, World Youth Day is a deep faith experience. It is an impetus of a deeper relationship with the Lord and a bolder conviction as a Catholic. I remember I was very blessed as a pilgrim last World Youth Day in Madrid because there is one generous person who sponsored everything. Even before the main event itself, God has evidently been working all throughout this faith journey. I am very confident that God’s providence will still manifest this time around. Another thing, all those catechism and conversation with priests and nuns, and even to our co-pilgrims, not only I grew deeper in knowledge but also fell in love more with God, through His Church. And I really want to see the Pope. I will seize every opportunity to see him, and WYD is one of those.

During the Missionary’s Conference, I told to myself, “Pagdating ng tamang panahon, gusto kong magpunta ng langit. Gusto ko lang mapunta sa langit.” The desire to be with God, to be with Him in heaven is here, deep inside the very core of me now. World Youth Day is definitely one of those hard and challenging paths to be able to go to heaven. And I want to take that road less travelled.

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