28 July 2017 – Day Three

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WYD Welcoming Ceremony, 28 July 2016

Day 3 of reflecting on the memories of World Youth Day:

One year ago today, we had the welcoming ceremony with the Holy Father. I still remember some of the dances that were performed and just the liveliness of the whole event! I mean, there were pilgrims from 184 countries! There were 2 million Catholic young people gathered in the same location! This was the living Church that I wrote about yesterday at her finest, at her most beautiful! Just the diversity represented astounded me–how vast is the Body of Christ!

I’m reminded of today’s reading: Since Wednesday, we’ve been following the Parable of the Sower. Most of us know this story by heart: A guy throws some seeds every which way and, depending on where they landed, something different happened to them. And Jesus, today, explained what each element of the story meant.

 

From here, I want to focus on the rich soil. What makes rich soil work? It’s a combination of things working in concert with each other: the dirt, water, minerals, natural fertilizers, worms and other critters, etc. Each of these elements are distinct yet are considered part of the same, rich soil. Why doesn’t the road or thorns or weeds work? Because the elements of that environment don’t work in concert with one another to successfully nurture a seed.

In a similar way, each of us pilgrims last year came from faraway countries, separate cultures, yet we gathered for one purpose–Jesus Christ–calling ourselves one name–His bride, the Church. On that day, we came to nurture one seed sowed deep in our hearts–a fire for the Holy Spirit.

 

I’m not sure where the other 2 million of my fellow WYD participants are with their gardens. But my prayer today is that we all recognize this burdensome yet wonderful, small yet engulfing, quiet yet world-changing seed that’s been sown in each of us.

Caring for plants has never been a forte or passion of mine, but I know how difficult it can be; sometimes, I feel like I make no progress with my seed and end up discouraged. But I still remain in awe of the universality, the catholicism, of the Church. May this reality of the Church be an encouragement for us farmers who feel alone. “We, though many, are one body in Christ.” (Romans 12:5)

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