I'm here at my first WYD, and up until about 3 days ago I couldn't have told you why. The best I can say about deciding to come to Kraków is that I was watching the closing Mass in Brazil and I kind of felt like I should go to Poland. When someone would ask why I was going (I don't even qualify as youth!) I couldn't really give an intelligent answer.
I think it's times like these, when we follow the whispers of our hearts, that we enter into a space for revelation. It just so happens that the revelation on Taber of the transfigured Christ was the theme of our Days in the Diocese that we spent in the city of Jaslo, in the diocese of Rzeszow (not by any planning on my part, it just all for together).
Now, before we left I had a little bit of a plan to lose a few pounds on this trip, thinking light meals, lots of walking, etc. It turns out our amazing host family, and the people of Jaslo had a different plan for us. Everyone we met greeted us with incredibly warm hospitality, almost always in the form of a meal. We feasted on their hospitality for the entire meal.
We all know the special feeling that comes along with being treated by someone else, but when the hospitality goes to the extent we received it, the feeling starts to change. Shy of them coming to visit us in Canada, and having a nonstop party for them that would rival the wedding at Cana or the celebration the father threw for the prodigal son, there is simply no way for us to repay our host family for their warm welcome and generosity. It's literally impossible to adequately do for them what they did for us. At the same time, it was their expression of kindness to us, and we learned very quickly that trying to reject it, or even just temper its extravagance, was an insult and a rejection to them.
It was their kindness that brought me to my first revelation, at my first WYD. This is exactly the mystery of God's mercy and love. I am fully incapable of adequately returning it, but still called to fully accept it, in all its human impossibility. Not only that, but I'm also called to pay on forward, and do my best, as imperfect as it is to share the same love and mercy with the world and people around me.
So, in the first of what are hopefully a few revelations of what I came to WYD for I came to be fed. Literally by the world class food (as a sign of Poland's world class hospitality), and spirituality by God's mercy, the joy of the pilgrims, the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and the abundant prayers of St. JPII, Sr. Faustina, Bl. Pier Giorgio, and the multitude of others in this city of saints.
- Ryan Fox