When I go to the church in my neighborhood, I see only old people. Is the Church only for old people?
The Church is not an old people’s club any more than it is a youth club. If it becomes something for old people, it will die. Saint John Paul II used to say that if you live with young people you become young yourself. The Church needs young people so it doesn’t grow old.
Dear Pope Francis, why did you choose the theme “Mary arose and went with haste” for this WYD?
Because as soon as Mary knew she was going to be the mother of God, she didn’t stay there taking a selfie or showing off. The first thing she did was to set out on a journey, in haste, to serve, to help. You too have to learn from her to set out on a journey to help others.
What is your hope for WYD in Lisbon?
In Lisbon, I would like to see a seed for the world’s future. A world where love is at the center, where we can sense that we are sisters and brothers. We are at war; we need something else. A world that is not afraid of witnessing to the Gospel. A joyful world – because if we Christians have no joy, we are not credible, no one will believe us.
Let us pray that the World Youth Day in Lisbon will help us young people to set out on the journey, witnessing to the Gospel with our own lives.