When Pope John Paul II was coming to Denver in 1993, reporters were predicting an absolute failure. They thought he might be able to get 20,000 people to show up. But 750,000 Catholic young people came to Cherry Creek State Park to celebrate their faith with the Holy Father. I was one of them. Apparently none of us had gotten the memo that the Church was irrelevant and out of touch with the needs of young people.
I went to World Youth Day in Denver, too. Alongside your remarks, I will share the most important thing I observed: That Sunday, when the JPII was giving his homily, everybody was listening on radios for their language's translation. He had very hard truths concerning the culture of life, represented by the woman clothed with the sun from the readings, and the culture of death. At all of the most powerful parts, the strongest teachings, that was when the entire field began cheering like crazy. To me, that was a very encouraging thing, a breeze blowing in from Solidarnosc in Poland, because it went against the prevailing culture who thought youth would only accept a watered down gospel, or as you observed, the prevailing media culture who predicted low turnout. Everyone was hot, thirsty, dusty, extremely tired and sleepless, but that day, it was the strong teaching that drew cheering.ReplyDelete