World Youth Day - searching for love
Fr Ireneusz Skubis
We will remember the August events in Cologne for a long time - the 20th World Youth Day at the initiative of the Servant of God John Paul II. At the same time we should ask the question: Why do young people come for these meetings in such great numbers? There are various interpretations. Some German newspapers want to limit the youth's intentions to a desire for fun and entertainment they can have. Certainly, there will be some young people who want to enjoy their youth having fun, want to get to know their peers from all over the world and experience something special. But the problem seems to be more serious. Young people look for answers to their metaphysical concerns in very concrete ways, the concerns that are deep in human being. By meeting their peers they try to find their way through cultural barriers and by hearing the teachings of their spiritual guides as well as their greatest spiritual authority, the Holy Father, they try to understand together how to live in order to have good lives, i.e. meaningful lifes, so that life can give them satisfaction of fulfilling the mission they have been entrusted with.
That was the case during the World Youth Day this year. Czestochowa had the same experience in 1991 and John Paul II often referred to that event. And it seems that it was the turning point for World Youth Days as far as the enthusiasm and number of participants are concerned. In those days numerous young people came from the East and their journeys were quite heroic, which was a phenomenon of that time. The joy that the youth express during the World Youth Days flow from human kindness and friendship but it is undoubtedly evangelical joy. Because these young people find their way in the Church. That also happened in Cologne, in the environment, which is critical to the Church. The 20th World Youth Day has showed that the Church is needed, that she serves people and that like a roof she provides them shelter against dangers of the world. The youth can see that they can find true love here and one does not rely on pseudo-values, and the foundations are not shattered. The Church's existence is based on God's natural and evangelical law. And it is the law of love that is most important in God's law and the youth feel it in a particularly deep way. John Paul II, who accompanied man's growth throughout his life, understood that very well and showed man an example of pretty, ordered and spiritual love.
The young people gathered on the 20th World Youth Day are the outcome of his teaching, which was noticed by Benedict XVI himself - wonderful successor of John Paul II.
We are happy about the million of young people in Cologne; we rejoice that there is a renewal of faith in Germany and we trust that the young people, being enriched by the experiences of faith and contacts with others who represent different cultures, mentalities and customs, will carry the light of those days in their lives; the light that is our hope.