I’ve considered myself a pilgrim since I was 19. Why? Because in 2002 I went on my first pilgrimage to Toronto for WYD.
World Youth Day is a massive gathering of young people who desperately are searching for God and come to encounter him and celebrate with the Pope. My life has forever been changed because of these gatherings, and countless others have been as well.
I have followed that first trip by preparing for and going on mission or a pilgrimage of some sort for the last 14 years:
2002 - WYD in Toronto
2005 - WYD in Cologne, Germany
2006 - Mission in Peru
2008 - WYD in Sydney, Australia
2011 - WYD in Madrid, Spain
2013- WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Mission in Maceio, Brazil
Brothers and sisters, we are pilgrims every day of our lives if we admit our brokenness and need for a healer. The question is simple. Can I be real, honest, and vulnerable to those I trust to seek help, forgiveness, healing and consolation? Will I simply allow God permission to work in my confusion, hurt, pain, and indifference?
Recently, the answer is I haven’t. It is just that simple. But, now upon reflection, I see God has taught me at least fourteen lessons for these 14 years:
I do not need to be away to be a pilgrim, as much as my heart yearns to be. A pilgrim is on a holy journey, seeking answers to questions they often don’t even know to ask. A pilgrim is someone who through challenges is cracked open to grace to nourish one's soul. A pilgrim is someone not at their destination, but intentionally drawing closer day by day.
What lesson is God teaching you on your journey this day?
- Colm Leyne