Thursday, September 01, 2011

Reflection of a Chinese seminarian who participated in the WJD

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” This was the first sentence that deeply touched me in the opening mass of WJD though I was far from the altar. And when asked, Peter did not even think about it as he immediately responded, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus continually asked him three times and he answered the same. This question could be Jesus’ asking everyone, especially those present at the opening mass.

We must have been asked this question several times in our lives, most probably by our friends or girlfriend, and by those whom we love. I clearly remember my past girlfriends asking me this question and I was like Peter as I replied, “Yes, of course, you know how much I love you,” but I actually did not. Now, probably because of my age and my relationship with Jesus Christ, I know the weight this question carries because once you answer this question, you will have to carry a heavy responsibility. Love needs sacrifice, love needs offering, it needs action, and the courage to overcome a lot of difficulties one has never imagined. I believe that when Peter answered Jesus’ question, he never thought he would sacrifice his life and even die on the cross.

The Gospel in the opening mass of WJD made me deeply reflect on this. I thought that perhaps John Paul II began this WJD for the youth of the world to wake their hearts up, and I for one has truly benefited from it.

Another moment that deeply touched me most was our vigil with the Holy Father on August 21. It was very hot that afternoon and then, it got very cold in the evening, and I was very hungry, even as many of us really suffered a lot that night. We slept in our wet sleeping sacks, which felt awfully uncomfortable, but everyone stayed and did not leave. I do not know why. Maybe because many others did not leave, or because of the Pope, or because of the love of God, or the power of the Spirit of God. No matter what the reason was, it was an amazing experience for me. …
Although the WJD 2011 had finished, I think it is just beginning, and I have to bring this experience to my real life. In everything that happened, I know that God was there, and he is very close with me. I thank God for giving me my vocation to be a Claretian missionary, which is truly a very good gift from him.

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