A Chaldean priest from Mosul has sent to us his witness on the way in which youth of Mosul are celebrating the World Youth Day. Most of the Iraqi young Catholic could not go to Cologne because of security and visa application reasons. Churches in Mosul have been targeted by car bombs in the last year.
Mosul (AsiaNews) Dear friends, yesterday evening we had a big celebration in Mosul: A spiritual pilgrimage to Cologne- Germany. This was a meeting to be united spiritually with the 400 thousands young people who travelled from different countries to meet the Holy Father. We were united with them spiritually, through the One Universal Church that has no boundaries.
About 400 young people mainly from the Chaldean churches of St Paul, Holy Spirit, and St Meskinta, participated in this event which took place in Holy Spirit Church.
I gave a talk on the theme of the World Youth Day, "We have come to worship Him". First I recalled the words pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI on the 7th of August 2005: Worship- especially "worshipping Jesus"- by no mean belongs to the past, it is not something "without sense for contemporary man". On the contrary, "only by worshipping and loving God above everything can man fully realize himself". I talked about what we could learn from the Magi to meet the Lord Jesus Christ, and then to worship Him and give continuity to this act of worship: watching and reading the signs, searching, discerning, feeling the joy, the deep insight, presenting (gifts, ourselves), conversion (changing the way of living), and finally our commitment as witnesses of faith. Through these 8 steps we can reach the true worship of our God and saviour.
Archbishop Paul Faraj Rahho, celebrated the Eucharist, and in the homily he urged the participant to renew there commitments and never feel ashamed of the Cross of the Lord, and accepting the challenges of their faith in a time of trial when their faith is tested. He encouraged them to draw near to Him, He who loved us all, with a love without limit. To be very keen in being present and participate in the Eucharist, is an expression of being very close to God.
He also recalled to our minds the words of John Paul II when he spoke on the 6th of August 2004 on this very theme of WYD saying: "Faithfully pursuing the path of our Redeemer from the poverty of the Crib to His abandonment on the Cross we can better understand the mystery of His Love which redeems humanity. The Child, laid by Mary in the Manger, is the Man- God we shall see nailed on the Cross. The same redeemer is present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. In the stable at Bethlehem He allowed Himself to be worshipped under the humble outward appearances of a newborn baby, by Mary, Joseph and by the shepherds; in the consecrated Host we adore Him sacramentally present in his body, blood, soul and godhead, and He offers himself to us as the food of eternal life. The Mass then becomes a truly loving encounter with the One who gave himself wholly for us. Do not hesitate, my dear young friends to respond to Him when He invites you "to the wedding feast of the Lamb". Listen to him, prepare yourselves properly and draw close to the Sacrament of the Altar, particularly in this Year of the Eucharist (October 2004- 2005) which I have proclaimed for the whole Church"(no.3).