Servants of the Lord
By: Therese Maria Abigail Ledesma
The theme of the National Youth Day 2019 in Cebu follows that of the World Youth Day held in Panama earlier this year. “I am the servant of the Lord, may it be done to me according to Your Word” [Luke 1:38].” This theme, centered on Mary’s Fiat, her courageous YES, challenged each of the 12,000 young people from all over the Philippines to follow her example as faithful servants of God.
“Hail, full of grace…”
The National Youth Day is an invitation to look back. Held in Cebu, our cradle of Christianity, we reflected on the journey of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. We are filled with gratitude for this beautiful gift of faith. Participating as a pilgrim led me to also remember to my own youth ministry story. Despite all the doubts and difficulties that I have recently encountered, the answer to God’s call to serve the young people in His Church is still YES, and by his grace, hopefully, will be always YES. Further, we are reminded of one simple yet important fact–that the reason we are able to give our brave, generous, and joyful YES is also because we are filled with the Love that moves us to do so. And, because of this Love that comes with our singular YES, we can achieve great things.
“The Lord is with you”
One of the highlights of the NYD2019 is the opportunity for young people to have a dialogue with bishops. Celebrating this gathering too within the Year of the Youth, our bishops show their encouragement and support for the youth by listening to our cares and concerns. This is a way of telling us that, in the words of Abp. Jose Palma, “in the journey of life, we do not walk alone. Jesus walks with us.” Through Him, we ảe beloved, gifted, and empowered. We might not recognize him at first, just like the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but we are made able to by his life-giving sacrifice–the Bread of Life that’s taken, blessed, broken, and shared once and for all. By this, he walks with us, Mary walks with us, the saints in heaven also walk with us, and we too walk with each other with Love as fellow ‘ka-lakbays’ pursuing our mission to serve the Lord and change the world.