WYD Anniversary A Reminder of Hope in Hopelessness

Evening prayer on day two of our rally.
Evening prayer on day two of our rally.

We survived the OCY Youth Rally!

We survived the OCY Youth Rally!

Journalist’s Journal: I celebrated the one year anniversary of my World Youth Day Sydney, Australia pilgrimage this weekend, the only way I could- spending two nights in a windy, wet field, sleeping on cold mother earth with a couple hundred other youth who didn’t bathe for a weekend.

Yes! I attended the Toronto Archdiocese’s youth rally at Martyr’s Shrine, Midland, Ontario, themed: “We have set our hope on the living God.” “(1 Tim 4.10).

But with a theme like that my expectation is a fun and spirit filled two days with three other Ryerson University Catholic students. Aren’t hopeful things fun and easy to endure.

But add the elements of the first sentence, mosquitoes, friend falling ill and another friend’s possibly broken toe, and it’s hard to maintain such hopeful expectations.

Instead, challenges like that deepen the experience. Annoyances recreate the sufferings of this world we live in.

Could the mosquitos be those little people and incidents that piss us off? Like our parents. When the bus comes late.

Is my broken tent recreating worrying feelings of financial insecurity that characterizes student life.  “How am I paying rent and buying groceries and buying books too, Lord?”

Could the broken toe be a life threatening illness that daily threatens to steal the life of a loved one.

It’s a reminder that hope profoundly exists in hopeless situations. That our trials and tribulations bring us closer to the Jesus’ cross and ultimately the hope of the resurrection.

FLASHBACK: a video from the  journey to World Youth Day, Sydney, one year ago: