World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 39

you? When did we see you ill or in prison, death or morning, wailing or pain” and “make and visit you?” (Mt 25:37-38) These chance all things new” (cf. Rev 21:4-5a). Pilgrims can encounters are critically important in those find grace and joy following unexpected Scripture stories, and they can be the same for detours in plans or accidents, made more World Youth Day pilgrims. The most life- meaningful by leaders who help pilgrims to changing meeting is often the one that is never adapt to the circumstances. planned, for God may put into the pilgrim’s path those who could have the greatest impact On a larger scale, being open to the will of God on their lives. Encourage pilgrims to open and being adaptable to wherever the Lord may themselves up to those moments. Even at well- be calling means discovering new paths upon planned events like the midweek catechetical which to journey from World Youth Day. For a sessions, a pilgrim may hear something from great number of pilgrims, this international the bishop or the animating team that stirs his gathering has changed the course of their lives. or her soul in new and unexpected ways. Whether from an experience during the central Again, encourage pilgrims to be open to events or because of a chance encounter, these new possibilities and insights. pilgrims have continued to share how important World Youth Day has been in Other unexpected moments include finding discerning God’s call in their life – whatever meaning and joy in the seemingly frustrating that call may be. For the past several years, and negative. Because certain aspects of a World Youth Day has played an ever-increasing pilgrimage can be difficult (including extended role in the discernment process of newly periods of walking and waiting around, ordained priests and professed religious sisters prolonged exposure to sun, heat, or rain, and and brothers. A number of them have reported long lines for the bathrooms or meal stations, that World Youth Day opened them up to a life as well as cancellations and changes in plans at of service in the Church, or confirmed for them the last minute), pilgrims can become that this was indeed what God was calling them aggravated and easily upset. Yet with the to do. Others meet their future spouses at support of one another and the compassionate World Youth Day, affirming their vocation to guidance of the leader, those moments of the married life. Still others sense a call to frustration can become opportunities for the become more active in the life of their local Lord to enter into the situation, “wipe every parish community or diocese, to gain a degree tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more or continuing education in Church ministry, or 37