Dreams are things that you can only think of because dreams would be hard to reach all by ourselves. We all have our crazy dream (Become an NBA player, become like superman, live on the moon and many more) and these things are just imaginary for us. But you always have to make this dream your promise to yourself because it will always lead to reality. And that’s where my crazy dream started: To go to Rio for WYD! It’s just a dream but I made it a promise to myself that someday I will go there. And I hold on to God’s promise that He would take me to places that I only dreamed of.
And here I am! “Iste e Brasil!”
I thought that I would be far from home but I was wrong, I am also home! Because of the warm welcome of our Brazillian amigos, I felt home. During the semana missionaria, I stayed with the loving “Derley Family”. I was joined with a Venezuelan “Carlos” and Panamaian “Alex”. I don’t know why I do not have any co-filipino pilgrim in our host family unlike my other friends who are with their fellow Filipino pilgrims. At first I had a hard time to speak and understand their language because it is new to me. But this is what God has promised! This is the one of a kind experience that I won’t miss. During the week, we had a worship session just like what we used to do in our community (CFC-FFL). Throughout the worship, I saw people crying and hugging each other because they never felt God’s love in that way. It was so affirming that God changes lives when you just respond to His call. And this semana missionaria is just a glimpse of His great promise to us. At first, we thought we will not be able to to do it because of the language barrier. But it doesn’t matter if we cannot understand each other because what matters is that we share God’s love. The universal language is the love of God!
After staying in our host family in Maua, we went to some historical places and one of my favorite is when we went to the Our Lady of Fatima. We went up on the hill which made us tired and made us nearly wanting to give up but when we reached the top, I was amazed on what I saw. The place is very peaceful, quiet and calm. God is telling us that when we reach the mountain top experience, we will meet Him there silently praying. He wants us to just listen to Him when we are at top so that when we go down, we are ready to face the battle. And this semana missionaria is just a glimpse of how God will manifest even more in the WYD.
During the opening for the WYD, it made me cry to see millions of young people praying and giving their life to God. Praying to God in the sand and beside the sea meant a lot of things – that God’s love is like the unmeasurable sand, God’s grace is like the ever-flowing ocean and God’s love is like the strong wind that can bring you anywhere.
And that yes can bring us into greater heights!
On the day of the welcoming of the Pope, we arrived 4 hours earlier in order for us to get a good place. Millions of youth are also waiting for the arrival of the Pope and we have to endure everything in order to see Him. But all of it was part of God’s plan. When I saw the Pope with my very eyes, my heart suddenly stopped, astonished and amazed of his presence. My heart is so filled with joy to have a glimpse of him even in seconds but it was all worth it. I’ve learned that whatever you experience is just a teaser of what God can do in your life by just following Him. “It is only Jesus who brings God to us and us to God.And Jesus is counting on us to just say yes to Him even more.” — Pope Francis
During the WYD Vigil it affirms us that “the Lord needs us. He is calling each and everyone of us to be missionaries. Each one of us should be the field of faith of God”. –Pope Francis
I’ve learned three things during the Pope’s reflection in the vigil:
1. A field is a seed – the seed is the word of God sown. And let it enter in your field. Let it work in your life.
2. A field is a training ground – Jesus asks us to be His disiciples. He asks us to join in His team like in a soccer team. They are trained in the field to win bigger than the world cup. But Jesus offers us a fruitful and happy life. But there is an entrance fee. We should let ourselves to follow Him more, to allow God in our hearts.
3. A field is a construction – we are part of the church. Be the builders of the church. Build a new world of peace, love and hope. Just like Peter who built the church. He wants us to be the living rock in the world.
This will only work if we let God work in us. We should not forget that we are the field of faith, athletes of Christ and builders of the church. We just have to say Yes to God and let God’s will be done.
During the last mass of the WYD, we were just reminded that our yes should always mean yes because Jesus Christ is counting in us. Do not be afraid. Your fear is not different from others because He is with us. And He promises us that He will never leave us alone. When we face challenges with God, we will be strong. And that is what our yes to Him could give us.
I never expected these things, I just said Yes to what God promised me and it did amazing things happen not only in my life but to everyone. There are so many hardships, struggles and challenges but because you invested in this dream you have to be inspired to go for it! God has invested so much in our lives and there is no reason for us to give up if God is our reason of everything. God’s love has transformed each and everyone of us and we just have to follow and trust Him. Just keep saying Yes because Jesus is counting on us! And His love can bring us everywhere. We must never get tired of following Him and keep saying yes to His call.
1 Cor. 2:9 “What no one ever saw or hear, what no one thought could ever happen of the very things the Lord has prepared for those who love Him.”