WYD19 – Way of the Cross
Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb
25th January, Panama:
The Way of the Cross was an occasion to walk with all young people of the world on their journey of sorrow and hope.
United with the Cross of Christ, the young people embraced the grace of following the Lord as well as the risk of committing themselves to him in life, in truth and in hope.
The Cross was presented before the Holy Father in the presence of thousands of young people where it was a time of reflection and prayer for the situations of suffering, violence and injustice that exists in our world today. The cross was carried by young people from different states of America.
Each station highlighted the problems that the country faced. It invited all to reflect on their local situation and in hope pray that, young people, will have the courage to say YES to being witnesses of the Lord to many people.
The presentations, music and dances gave each one occasions to ponder and reflect upon. “I reflected on our situation of Papua New Guinea. The corruption and intoxication of power and money of those in authority, the environmental crisis and the rape of our natural resources with the looming threat of Sea Bed Mining, need to protect migrants and refugees and those who cry out for justice and are on the verge of desperation and death, brought tears to my eyes my eyes,” said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb.
“The domination and abuse of 66% of women who are emotionally, physically or mentally tortured, young people who are falling into the clutches of violence and drugs and the culture of death that stifle the cries of the innocent, are also situations that exists and need to be dealt with”, he continued.
“Involving young people in a shared missionary responsibility, needs rich imagination and creativity”, said Pope Francis (WMD 2017).
Our young people need to go out to convince our world of a faith that transforms, a hope that brings humanity from sin and death and a joy rejuvenated in Christ that is made anew.
The Way of the Cross ended with a blessing by the Holy Father.
Earlier we had an interactive catechesis session based on the scripture passage of the cure of the lame man by Peter and John. (Acts 3). The session presented by the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, USA invited the participants to reach out to the one who are sick, lonely and in need.
In the question and answer session, Archbishop Anthony Muheria, Archbishop of Nyeri, Kenya shared his testimony of faith when his mother was sick. “Mothers are strong pillars of faith, even when they are suffering”, he said. That was a test of faith for him. He prostrated himself and begged the Lord in faith to cure his mother trusting in the Lord. To his joy, his mother recovered.
He encouraged the young to be filled with the ‘Spirit’ and not be afraid of proclaiming Christ. “There is a scramble for the heart of the young. Amidst all this create a space for God, by choosing what God offers. Create a space for others, especially the ones with problems, those on the verge of committing suicide, the beggar in the street, the lost, the lonely and the forgotten”, he said.
The participants look forward to the vigil and the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration of World Youth Day.