Journeying Together, A Personal Reflection

Dr. Young Hoang | Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement | Diocese of Arlington

The Journeying Together experience cannot be overstated as it allows opportunities for the faithful in a concrete way, to recognize and encounter the presence of God in all people. This recognition is a vital tenet of our faith as it acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings. It further reaffirms the Church’s mission to spread the Gospel of Christ, a message of love and compassion to all people, regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, or cultural background.

In Genesis 1:27, we are reminded that we are created in God’s likeness, which makes us one. Though we are one body in Christ, we are uniquely created and genuinely loved. We are called to embrace God’s love and personalized design for each of us. In doing so, we worship and give glory to God as we see and understand the beauty that God saw in His creation. Call out: Throughout the Journeying Together process and at each gathering, the richness and unique splendor of different cultures were highlighted and in a concrete way, moved us to honor the image that God chose to create us in through the various programing and liturgical celebrations. 

Journeying Together further emphasizes Christ’s love for us through His mother. Our Lady’s countless appearances across the world, while many, all centralize on a single message of love and compassion. Her universal appeal transcends boundaries of cultures, and it propels us for greater motivation towards unity. She is our one and only Mother. At the Alive in Christ event in Chicago, the parade of Mary's appearance in different cultures is a testament to this. Her image and story have been reinterpreted and reimagined in various unique ways to accompany the beliefs and practices of different cultures, while still maintaining her central role as Our Mother, a holy figure of faith and devotion.

While much work remains ahead of us, we are most blessed and we give thanks to God for the Journeying Together initiative as it is a step in the right direction to enrich the spiritual experience of the faithful and fosters a deeper appreciation and acceptance of different cultural practices and values. The Church must continue to embrace diversity and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society that reflects the richness and diversity of God's creation.