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World Youth Day: Celebrating Young Faith View Comments
By Edited by Christopher Heffron

IN AUGUST OF 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave this hope-filled message to young Catholics about their participation in World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid on August 16-21, 2011.

“The Church depends on you! She needs your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope. Your presence renews, rejuvenates and gives new energy to the Church. That is why World Youth Days are a grace, not only for you, but for the entire People of God.”

The following young Catholics are bringing that energy to 2011’s World Youth Day.

St. Anthony Messenger wanted to know what these young people did to prepare for the trip, what they hope to gain from it and how their faith will be deepened by their journey.

These are their stories.

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Christopher Heffron is the assistant editor of this publication. He wishes to express his gratitude to Mike Meyer, coordinator of youth and young adult ministry at St. Denis Parish in Versailles, Ohio, who helped to facilitate these reflections, as well as the young Catholics who participated in this article.

Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.

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Matthew: Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers. 
<p>Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important. </p><p>No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.</p> American Catholic Blog The most appealing invitation to embrace the religious life is the witness of our own lives, the spirit in which we react to our divine calling, the completeness of our dedication, the generosity and cheerfulness of our service to God, the love we have for one another, the apostolic zeal with which we witness to Christ’s love for the poorest of the poor.

 
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