THE 15TH YOUTH FESTIVAL
The 15th Youth Festival is inspired by Holy Father’s message for the World Youth Day 2004, “We desire to see Jesus”. It wants to be one of the spiritual contributions and preparations for the celebration of the 20th World Youth Days in Cologne 2005.
Encounters of young people from all over the world represent one of the charms of the Youth Festival, therefore it is a good occasion to explain to the youth that the fundamental encounter, which is written in the depth of the human heart, is the encounter between the Creator and the creature, and that “the highest human dignity resides in its call to enter into relationship with God in an exchange of glances that transform life” (Holy Father’s message for WYD 2004).
Prayer, music and encounters should lead us to allow Jesus to see us (theme of the 1st day), because only through this experience of his glance full of love can be born the desire to encounter Him. Then, we should discover that the encounter with Jesus is giving the full meaning to our lives (theme of the 2nd day), and this encounter happens in the Eucharist (theme of the 3rd day), and in the Eucharistic love, which is a selfless giving and sacrificing of oneself for others, because “to love does not mean only to feel; it is an act of the will; love consists in preferring the good of others to our own good”. (Holy Father’s message for WYD 2004).
Finally, the participants are invited to become witnesses of the One they have met (theme of the 4th day), because the world is seeking true witnesses of the One who alone gives life.
There is no encounter with God without Mary. She is the one who is “forming a contemplative heart and teaching how to gaze at Jesus”. (Holy Father’s message for WYD 2004) This is why Medjugorje is the ideal place for such an encounter, the ideal place for the renewal of our consecration to God through Mary, as Our Lady is asking from us: “I invite all those who have said "yes" to me to renew their consecration to my Son Jesus and to His Heart and to me, so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world.” (April 25, 1992)
15th INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER FESTIVAL
The International Youth Prayer Meeting in Medjugorje took place this year from August 1 to 6. About 25,000 young people from all over the world gathered together. There were also about 400 priests, who accompanied their young parishioners to this meeting. The theme of the meeting was, “We desire to see Jesus”. During the evening prayer programme, numerous other pilgrims joined young people, and about 30,000 faithful participated in the programme each evening.
Lecturers and witnesses invited young people to come to know Jesus Christ who is a brother for each one of us and the Saviour of humanity, and whom young people need so much today.
This meeting was another exceptional spiritual experience for all young people who participated. This is why we invite them to come next year again to Medjugorje and to renew their fidelity to God, to the Holy Father and to the Church.
The meeting was simultaneously translated into seventeen languages.
WE DESIRE TO SEE JESUS...
ABOUT THE 15TH YOUTH FESTIVAL IN MEDJUGORJE By Dr. Fr. Tomislav Pervan
We have just lived another magnificent gathering of young people, enthusiastic, enchanted, full of faith and optimism. We shall not speak here about numbers and statistics, although they are not insignificant. General impression: a true Pentecostal atmosphere. A new Pentecost in Medjugorje. No trace of fear, of anxiety, of pessimism, which – as an epidemic -
While internal problems of all kinds accumulate in the institutional Church in Europe and in America, these young people represent a guarantee and a testimony against resignation and fear. Twenty years ago, the Holy Father understood this in a prophetic way: in the young people, he saw the force of the Church to come, and this is why, through them, he is trying to inject to the Church a vaccine against asthenia, despair, pessimism, depression and lassitude that are spreading within. The Church of young people is the Church of the future, the budding Church, the Church that believes in tomorrow, the Church that is neither bending its knees nor abandoning itself to gloomy thoughts; it is the Church that seeks and finds strength and consolation in Jesus Christ, in prayer, in the Eucharist, in the Adoration, in the sacrament of the reconciliation.
Everything is so simple; nobody is disturbing or hindering anyone. There is no need of hundreds of police officers or of security forces, as it is happening in the stages; everything is filled with an atmosphere of interiority, of opening, of prayer and of singing. Without publicity, without big posters, without advertisement. Medjugorje is not counting on that. Medjugorje speaks for itself; Medjugorje is in itself a magnet, which is attracting and focusing catholic forces from the four corners of the world. If we look at the expenses that are made for certain projects to be announced, at which point certain things are advertised, and how much time and money are spent to carry out certain gatherings, we can say for this Festival in Medjugorje that it is a perfect spectacle arranged by Heaven.
We wish to see Jesus? This is possible only through us, through you and me. Are we ready to dare? Mary says that she desires to draw us towards her Son, so that each one of us may find one’s place in this triangle between her and Jesus. Medjugorje is a permanent mission of Heaven.