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World Youth Day – 26 July 2022

220px-WYD-2008Not to be confused with International Youth Day or World Festival of Youth and Students.

World Youth Day (WYD) is an event for young people organized every three (or sometimes, two) years by the Catholic Church.

World Youth Day was initiated by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1985. For the first celebration of WYD in 1986, bishops all over the world were invited to schedule an annual youth event to be held every Palm Sunday in their dioceses.

It is celebrated at the diocesan level annually, and at the international level every two to three years at different locations. The 1995 World Youth Day closing Mass in the Philippines set a world record for largest number of people 220px-Francisco_Papa_Jornada_Mundial_de_la_Juventud_Rio_de_Janeiro_Julio_2013_A gathered for a single religious event (with 5 million attendees)— a record surpassed when 6 million attended a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the Philippines 20 years later in 2015.

Source: Text & Images: Wikipedia    Images, left: Crowd at Barangaroo, Sydney, for first day of WYD08 celebrations    right: Pope Francis arrives at Copacabana, 26 July 2013

World Youth Day 2023 (PortugueseJornada Mundial da Juventude de 2023) will be a Catholic festival held in LisbonPortugal, and was originally scheduled to be celebrated in summer 2022. This was announced by Pope Francis and Kevin Farrell at the end of the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2019 in Panama City, Panama. Originally scheduled to be held in August 2022, the Holy See announced on April 20, 2020, that it will be postponed until August 2023 due to the 2019–22 coronavirus pandemic, as such, it will be held on August 1st–6th, 2023.

Source: Text:

Palm Sunday, Year B – 2021

At the mention of Palm Sunday, the scene immediately comes to mind (Mark 11:1-10).
The scene, and the actors as well.

  • Two disciples are sent by Jesus to bring him a colt tied, on which no one has sat”.
  • Some people observing the disciples’ intervention object but finally accept.
  • Many people spread clothes on the road, they wave branches in welcome.
  • They acclaim Jesus as the one who comes in the name of the Lord”.
  • The Pharisees protest at this glorious welcome (Luke 19:40).
  • Jesus tells them: “If they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.”

An event that took place some 2000 years ago.
A scene of the distant past.
And yet…
A reality ever present.
A message ever meaningful.
A coming ever happening…

WE could be in our world today…
Those who are sent by Jesus…
Those who object or protest…
Those who welcome and acclaim…

On this Palm Sunday, I ask myself: ‘Where do I stand?’

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:



Source: Image: Meridian Magazine

Feast of Mary, Mother of God, 1st January, Year B

At times, we think that to understand God’s words and ways we need long studies and much wisdom.
Wisdom? Yes, but not necessarily the one coming from intellectual achievement!
The wisdom of ordinary people, of ‘simple folks’, as they are sometimes referred to, is closer to genuine insight.

The gospel text of today’s feast of Mary, Mother of God (Year B, Lk.2:16-21) gives us to meet such simple people: the shepherds.
They have much from which we can learn.
Their attitude shows us to way to follow.

“They hurried away
and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.
They repeatedwhat they had been told about him…
They went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”
Ordinary people making the experience of an extraordinary event.
Their reaction is the proper one:

  • Hastening to discover what God has in store for them.
  • Recognizing God’s presence.
  • Identifying his intervention.
  • Understanding the message there for them.
  • Sharing this message with those around them.
  • Glorifying and praising God for what has been given them to see and hear.

What else could be expected from us today?…

Source: Images:

Christmas, Year A

Proverbs often have much wisdom encapsulated in a few words. They convey the popular wisdom which has much to tell us about life and situations.

At one time or another, you may have heard this saying: “There is more to it than meets the eye.” Looking at a situation, observing the attitude of someone, a friend or neighbour may have whispered these words: “There is more to it than meets the eye.” The person would have acknowledged that what he saw, what she noticed, was “not the whole story”, as they say.

These words are truly appropriate for what we are celebrating at Christmas – what we see, or… think we see! – as we look at a Nativity scene. The scene itself may be very ordinary or quite elaborate, it may show only the new-born child with his mother and father, or display as well the humble visitors and the royal guests that are part of the longer narrative.


  • We look at a baby – We are to see God himself;
  • We look at poverty – We are to see the riches of God;
  • We look at weakness – We are to see the strength of God;
  • We look at helplessness – We are to see the power of God;

Indeed, we look at a simple situation: the birth of a child – We are to see the most extraordinary event in human history: God who has become a human being like us.

He has chosen the name he was to be called: “God-with-us” (Mt.1:23) – this is what He is, what He wants to be for each one of us. There is no situation – except that of our refusal – which can render this obsolete.

The gospel text (Lk.2:15-20) tells us, that having seen the new-born child, the shepherds “went back glorifying and praising God.” What more could we do?

Source: Image: Answers in Genesis