World youth day is the biggest festival in the world (about a million people). Catholic youth from all over the world comes together every three years in a different city to celebrate their faith, meet the pope and for a few days experience the international church they are part of. This year it was held in Madrid, and I was there. The most amazing thing to me is to see so many enthusiastic young believers making radical decisions to stand for something that is bigger than they are, in order to hopefully be a light into this world.
I went with a Dutch group of about 90 people. The first week was spent in Zaragoza, the second in Madrid.
About 3000 people from all over the world praying together at night in Zaragoza.
Everywhere on the streets there was dancing and singing going on. Random strangers united in silly moves and taught each other national dances, exchanged flags and had a good time together.
Even in the (more quiet) outskirts moods were high and we just didn’t stop dancing.
There were priests on skate boards,
long bus rides (that didn’t seem that long)
making new friends,
nuns on jumping poles
street musicians that never in their life had seen such an enthusiastic public
Locals throwing water to cool down the hot and grateful crowd,
A lot of people, a lot of balloons, a lot of fun
sleeping outside in the rain for a night,
waking up with over a million neighbors,
And to all of the above I would like to bring out a toast. If this is the living church of today, I am happy to be a part of it. It was awesome.