Wednesday, July 27, 2016

World Youth Day 2016: Why Do They Come?

Millions of youth from all over the world are gathering together in an ancient city in Poland with a man from Argentina who is nearly 80 years old. They gather together in love, peace, and solidarity.

A phenomenon like this should cause any reasonable 21st century person to think and ask serious questions. The fact that we have grown accustomed to these gatherings doesn't make them any less amazing if we pay attention to what is actually happening.

What moves young people to do something like this? What in the world could possibly generate such a gathering?

An ideology?

A political faction?

An abstract story and a set of rules? A collection of sentiments? A general benevolence and vague hope for a humanitarian future?

Remember, we're talking about kids here. Actual young people with the energy and enthusiasm and possibilities to do all kinds of things. Why do young people get together? Why would a million young people get together? They gather because they expect something to happen.

It's not an ideology, or an institution constructed by our own power, or a nostalgia for the past.

That's not why they have come.

They have come together because of an event that really happened in history and that lives right now, an event that generates an encounter, that even today takes hold of human lives and changes them and makes them free.