Those were the three thoughts Pope Francis left with us during the Closing Mass on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. This was the climax of the week, when we gather for the source and summit of our Faith. And after a week of surprises and simple, yet powerful messages, these three thoughts summarised it all: We are called to be more than just disciples; we are called to be missionaries. That means that we have to be protagonists. We can't be content with sitting in the back row, or staying up in the balconies letting others be the protagonists of change. We need to get down onto the streets. The doors of the Church need to stay open, not so that people can come in, but so that we can go out and go get all those people who aren't coming. We need to go encounter them. We need to go.
But that can be scary. Let's always remember that we are not alone. Christ goes with us. So does Mary and we also walk with the Saints. The Cross can be scary too, but we do not carry it alone. Christ carries it with us. Christ walks with us (sometimes He carries us), but we are never alone. We have to go without fear - especially the young. You may think that you are not prepared or not quite ready to go, but remember that the best tool to evangelise a young person is another young person!
And why do we go? Why do we have to trust the One who is in control? To make disciples of all nations. How do we make disciples? We go and serve. We go and love. That is the theology of encounter that Pope Francis will be remembered for.
It's a simple and clear message. But it is one that we can continue to unpack for years to come.
Join us in re-living the Mass of Sending Forth, the Closing Mass of WYD Rio 2013.
Sunday, Aug 18 at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT
Monday, Aug 19 at 12:30am ET / 9:30pm (Sun) PT
And also, continue reliving WYD 2013 with us throughout next week, as we re-broadcast the three National Gatherings that took place at the Vivo Rio Center for English-Speaking Pilgrims (see our schedule
for details), as well as our hour-long WYD Central Rio Wrap-Up Show, which will air on Friday, August 23 at 9pm ET (6pm PT).
Remember that you can watch all our WYD programming as well as anything and everything to do with World Youth Days at WYD Central
-Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring