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In Scriptures, the disciples expressed a strong desire to stay at the top of the mountain, basking in the radiance of the Lord's Transfiguration. Yet, like Jesus reminded Peter, James, and John, he reminds pilgrim travelers today that they cannot live on mountaintop experiences alone. The exhilaration of the World Youth Day celebration can quickly fizzle, no matter how fantastic it was in Kraków. Yet arriving home after WYD does not mean everything is finished; rather, leaving Kraków is just the beginning of the next phase of a lifelong journey of faith.
In Luke's account of the Transfiguration, when Jesus speaks with Moses and Elijah about the work that still needed to be accomplished in Jerusalem. World Youth Day, in much the same way, can give you direction and formation for the tasks which lay ahead of you upon your return home and throughout your lifetime. It is indeed good that we were there, but it is even better where we're going next!As Pope Francis told the pilgrims at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, "Jesus is speaking to each one of us saying, 'It was wonderful to take part in World Youth Day, to live the faith together with young people from the four corners of the earth, but now you must go, now you must pass on this experience to others.' Jesus is calling you to be a disciple with a mission!"
- What was the most frustrating part of your experience?
- What is one thing you learned about being an example of mercy in your community?
- What was the most impactful thing about traveling to Kraków and Poland (or in general outside of the United States)?
- What did the Holy Father (or a bishop, catechist, or leader) say or do that really impacted or challenged you?
- Who are the memorable people you met at World Youth Day? Where are they from?
- How was this pilgrimage experience different from the vacations or excursions you may have taken in the past?
- How will you engage stateside pilgrims, as well as friends and family at home, in your continuing pilgrimage of faith?
- How has your relationship with God changed or been enhanced by this pilgrimage experience?
- What three action steps or resolutions are you taking after World Youth Day?
- How will you be more merciful in your life going forward?
- Where do you feel God is calling you to next in life? How might God be calling you to your life's vocation through WYD?
These reflections can be found in the 2016 WYDUSA Pilgrim Journal.
Life beyond WYD is just as important, if not more important, than the preparations for the trip and the mountaintop moments in July 2016. The events may be over, but the pilgrimage continues! Use the following resources to continue your pilgrimage after World Youth Day.
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