I had a little fun on the blog last night, but in a way we can take a lesson from football fever. What is it about the game that turns ordinary men and women into crazed fans. I mean think of it. How many grown people normally paint their face (and bodies) in bright colors, wear cheese or other outrageous paraphernalia on the heads and pay exorbitant amounts of money to sit in a freezing stadium and consume overpriced beer and hot dogs? Why do we get excited over 25 year old boys who make million dollar salaries to run down a field? Why? It's fun and gets you excited about something. We like to see our team win. Yet as I wrote last night, I wonder what would happen if we got that excited about Jesus, about our faith in God?
That is exactly what is happening this week in Madrid. While many here in the states were getting ready for football season, others were getting ready for another event. This week over a million young people are gathered to get excited about Jesus, about our faith and about our Church as they participate in World Youth Day. This spectacular event, lasting almost a whole week, was begun by Pope John Paul II in 1985, and affords young people throughout the world the opportunity to celebrate their belief in Christ together. It is truly wonderful to see, even if only from my computer screen or on TV, all those young people learning about the faith, praying, praising the Lord, spending time in adoration, and outwardly expressing their faith. It should give us hope that the future of the Church is assured. Who knows how many of our future priests, religious and maybe even a future pope are in Madrid this week. They need our prayers, as do all our children who are being bombarded with so many things that go against the Christian way of life. They are an example to all of us.