|(CNS photo/Angelo Carconi, EPA)
One of my favorite prayers during the celebration of the Eucharist is prior to the sign of peace, “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.” The faith of the Church is one of the hallmarks of World Youth Day. Especially on those occasions, it is a Church that is young; a Church that is alive; and a Church that is totally focused on Jesus Christ and His mission. And, it is a Church on pilgrimage.
Many times as we live the routine of our daily lives, we forget about the internal movement that is happening through our faith in Jesus Christ. A pilgrimage is not only a physical journey, but an internal movement of faith moving toward a greater reality. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.” World Youth Day is a hallmark of that presence of Jesus among His people in an extraordinary way. It is a people that is moving forward and coming together from all parts of the world to celebrate that faith together.
In 2016, the theme for World Youth Day is “Blessed are the Merciful.” Mercy is the greatest expression of God's love offered to those who open their hearts to His mercy. And mercy fully expresses Christ’s mission continued through our own mission in His name. To be in the place where the devotion of Divine Mercy was established will be a true gift to all who attend.
For myself, I look forward to experiencing the origins of the devotion as it was revealed to St. Faustina. So many of us have witnessed the tremendous faith and compassion of St. John Paul II and many of us have been in his presence. To be in his home country will not only bring his memory alive, but bring to life all that he taught and witnessed as a fellow pilgrim in this confused world. He loved the youth beyond measure and to be together with youth from all over the world sharing his legacy and sharing his love for the young Church will be a very memorable moment.
I look forward to being in Kraków and being in the midst of so many brothers and sisters who are excited about their faith and want to share it with the world. In a world of violence and hatred, what better show of force than to be in Kraków where the apostle of mercy, the promoter of peace and unity among peoples lived will be most memorable.
Bishop Mulvey is Bishop of Corpus Christi.