08/20/2005, 00.00
iraq - wyd

Letter from Mosul: the WYD afar from Cologne, near to the Pope's heart

Ragheed Ganni

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).

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