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WYD - Making the immense grace overflow

The universal church experience of ADMA's young people has come to an end: this summer they responded to Pope Francis' invitation to meet him at Campo da Graça in Lisbon for the XXXVII World Youth Day. ‘Concluded,’ however, is not the best term to describe this experience. It has already been two weeks since the return to the land of Savoy and the sea of photos, videos and messages, all generated by the countless encounters of grace experienced in those nine days alone, speaks of something that is still more alive than ever.

But there is no surprise. They say this happens when you take Mary as an example of life and like Her ‘get up and go quickly’ to an unknown land, to a million and a half brothers and sisters shouting "Esta es la Juventud del Papa!" Everything blossoms and comes to life; what happens is that you end up dancing, playing and praying together; singing (on the subway), sleeping (little), eating (what you find) and exchanging bracelets and medallions with that Brazilian sister who approaches you because she read "ADMA IS THERE" on your back; what happens is that, that expression, that verb ‘get up’ also takes on the meaning of ‘rise up’, ‘awaken to life.’

Twenty-four of us left, twelve girls and twelve boys, accompanied by two leaders, including Fr. Alejandro, Spiritual guide of the worldwide ADMA. We left, twenty-four, and returned multiplied in joy. Some already knew each other, others were new to the group, and each approached this experience with different motivations, with a destination in the mind and a personal cross in the heart, recognizing in each the same call to get involved, to be challenged and to get up in a hurry. ‘In haste’, we learned to get up in the morning and make changes in the evening. ‘In haste’ we walked through the streets of Lisbon to reach the place of the Stations of the Cross and the place of the Vigil with the Pope. ‘In haste’ we fell in love with Lisbon and the brothers and sisters we met there, discovering a more genuine connection than those of social media: the connection that comes from meeting, sharing, love and service.

Lisbon in our hearts will never again be just Lisbon, but rather a constant invitation to ‘get up and go quickly’ to rediscover that Love that - as the Pope says - "makes us become luminous." It will be a constant reminder to imitate that haste - proper to Mary - "of those who have received extraordinary gifts from the Lord and cannot help but share, to overflow the immense grace they have experienced."


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