World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 26

of pilgrimage and without it marking their particular pilgrim journey. Consider the biblical spirituality. World Youth Day presents Catholic analogy of the Transfiguration: the destination youth and young adults from the United States that Jesus took Peter, James, and John was the with a chance that few of their peers have ever entirety of Mount Tabor – including the experienced. process of going up the mountain, the transforming experience atop the summit, and A pilgrimage is not an escape from the everyday the journey down the mountain. It can be experiences of life, like a vacation or excursion. tempting to limit Mount Tabor to its peak, but While there are certainly exciting and enjoyable the pathway up the hill was just as critical to the moments to World Youth Day, the primary experience. As St. Luke tells the story (Lk 9:28- purpose of a pilgrimage is not about peaceful 36), when Simon Peter asks to remain at the rest, entertainment, or sports. Rather, a top a little bit longer, the evangelist states: “But pilgrimage helps one to better appreciate the he did not know what he was saying” (Lk 9:33). everyday moments of life, both the good and Connecting this story to the World Youth Day the challenging, and prepares one for the road experience, it would be foolish to think that the ahead. It is often a journey to a holy place, in true destination was simply the places and the hope that the sacredness of the place will events in Kraków. Rather, the entire process is illuminate the traveler’s soul. The pilgrim enters the pilgrimage destination. Furthermore, the the “struggle” of a pilgrimage with the hope goal of World Youth Day is not to make it to that God is doing great work within him or her. Kraków, but to encounter the universal Church Within that struggle, the Lord calls the pilgrim – from the pope to the young people from to a deeper relationship with him. In all this, the other nations to the local citizens of the host end goal of this