The third day of the Youth Festival: Archbishop Woyda celebrated Holy Mass, catechesis given by Cardinal Robert Sarah

date: 04.08.2021.

The programme of the third day of the 32nd Youth Festival started with prayer led by Fr. Marinko Sakota, Medjugorje parish priest. Catechesis was then given by Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, who was the main celebrant of the opening Holy Mass.

Reflecting on the theme of the Youth Festival “What good must I do” (Mt 19, 16) Cardinal Sarah referred the youth to reflect on the eternal life and how to obtain it.

One obtains the eternal life by witnessing Christ. The word witness comes from the Greek word 'martyr' meaning the martyr. We know that martyrdom, in following Christ appears as the great act of love and as response to the immense love of God. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council Lumen Gentium says: „This perfect continency, out of desire for the kingdom of heaven, has always been held in particular honour in the Church. The reason for this was and is that perfect continency for the love of God is an incentive to charity, and is certainly a particular source of spiritual fecundity in the world.” (Lumen Gentium, 42), said Cardinal Sarah, who concluded with the question: “How can one trust in God today?”, and he invited the youth to reflect on what St. Augustin once said: “Si comprehendisti, non est Deus”, meaning – If you understood something, this means it was not God.

“Indeed, if you think you understood who God is, if you have mastered it in the way one approaches or understands the mathematic formula or nuclear physics, this means you do not talk about God then”, said Cardinal Sarah, who at the end prayed for the youth and blessed them all.

The afternoon part of the programme began at 5 pm with the testimonies of members of humanitarian organisation Mary’s Meals, and the evening prayer programme followed at 6 pm with the Rosary. Holy Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Tadeusz Wojda, Archbishop of Gdanjsk, and bishop Guido Gallese along with 346 priest concelebrating.

Archbishop Wojda, reflecting on the Gospel in his homily, said to the youth not to discuss with God in the times of temptations, for while doing so, we “deprive ourselves of the possibility that our faith grows and matures”, and to obtain such faith “we need to go across the sea where there are waves of violence evil that struck us hard, where there is helplessness and weakness before the wind of mighty and incomprehensible events, where one needs to face many tasks and challenges that  cause fear and horror in us.”

In such situations, we must realise that we are not alone. He is besides us. When we face the waves and the wind of adversity, He watches over us, supports us, and accompanies us with His prayer. Our helplessness throws us into the arms of Jesus and gives birth to a consciousness of faith in us. It makes us more responsible for our actions and decisions. It makes us more aware that without Him we will go nowhere, that we will always have to decide whether to continue to seek His help or go back and be content with what we have already achieved, that allows us to merge with the mentality of this world. Should our life be like this !?

 From us believers, Jesus expects a witness of faith, a strong, determined faith, a faith that is not afraid of threatening waves or opposing winds! Jesus expects from us a faith that is the confidence that He will not forsake us, especially when the opposing wind begins to threaten the stability of our human boat, the faith that He is always with us. If he allows adversity, it is because our faith still needs to be purified, strengthened, and deepened. Yes, He will, if He deems it necessary, always be able to still all that threatens us. Jesus is faithful and will not allow us to experience adversities beyond our strength. With trials, He will also give us the way out that we can endure them. The problem is that we cannot always recognize Him when He comes to us. Instead of being horrified and screaming, without shame, like Peter, we should ask, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water!", Or even more: Lord, save me, Lord, increase my faith. Difficulties make faith grow, but only when we turn our gaze to Jesus Christ and make room for Him in our hearts”, said Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda, and then he said: “Jesus, we ask you, strengthen our steps, when our faith is weakened, extend your hand to us, just like you did to Peter and be our saviour”, the Archbishop concluded his homily on the third evening of the 32nd Youth Festival in Medjugorje.

The procession with the Statue of Our Lady was held after the evening Holy Mass.

“Jesus is the centre of this procession. Mary is leading us to Jesus. Jesus is in the centre, the Eucharist is the centre! Here, the words of Mary at the wedding feast in Cana come to accomplishment: “Do as he tells you to do!”

Live this procession from within, with your heart. Entrust yourself to Mary. She desires to lead you to your Son…gaze at Her…Mother has placed one of her hands on her heart and the other is extended to you. You too extend your hand to her. Ask her to lead you and to teach you to pray with the heart. Just like Mary, pray in the silence of your heart: “Behold, o Lord, may it be to me according to thy will!”, said Fr. Marinko during the procession, followed by the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. (PHOTO)