“Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith”
The theme for World Youth Day 2011, taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians (2:7), is rather striking. If you take a moment to read the passages of scripture that come just before and after this verse, you can see that St. Paul is warning his readers and encouraging them to be determined believers in Jesus Christ. As one who believes in Jesus Christ, you will experience persons who will want to “deceive you by specious arguments (2:4), or to “captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ (2:8).” Using the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love that you received in Baptism are powers of the soul that can be excercised against deception. Faith is a light that shines in our minds to see the truth; hope is striving for the good we do not yet possess and enduring hardship to reach that good, and love – of God and for God – is the reason why we believe and hope in Jesus Christ.
The powers identified by Paul will tempt us to believe something less than what is true, or to love what is not trully good for us. Making a spiritual pilgrimage to Madrid, Spain will strengthen each of us to recognize and commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, who is the Way, Truth and Life, in our lives. May your pilgrimage make you firm in faith!