The Body of Christ at WYD

I am somewhat saddened by the fact that I will not be able to attend the World Youth Day festivities in Madrid this week—but I am looking forward to being there “virtually” through the wonders of cable and internet. What a brilliant notion Blessed John Paul II had in inaugurating this type of gathering, highlighting the faith life and spiritual potential of young people throughout the world. Thank you, Holy Father—and know of our special prayers for you and all those who will be gathering in Spain this week!

Yesterday, I went with several of my sisters to spend the day in New York City. We had a glorious set of experiences, ranging from walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to visiting Mother Seton’s shrine to celebrating Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As we were driving home, we decided to recite a “litany of gratitude” of sorts, remembering the day’s blessings, and in particular the different people (strangers and friends) whose paths had crossed our own. It amazed us, as we went on for close to twenty minutes, remembering by name or description, all the individuals we encountered, either casually or conversationally. The day held so many opportunities to touch and be touched by others—but how easy it is to not notice those opportunities! What a genuine grace and blessing it was for us to help each other remember even the smallest gesture of kindness or the slightest head-nod from a passing biker—each of which served to brighten our day and bring joy to our experience.

All you pilgrims in or en route to Madrid, may your multiple experiences of one another as the Body of Christ provide untold blessings for you, particularly as you join together in celebrating our faith in Him who is our Head! Pray for us—we are praying for you!

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