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From World Youth Day to the seminary.

KikoGao - Wed, Aug 31st 2011

Kiko a 25 year old Chinese youth has just landed in Spain. He comes from Beijing to participate with many other young persons in the World Youth Day but with a clear purpose offer himself to Christ and His mission. He will expend the whole year in our Claretian Formation Centre in Colmenar, Madrid. He will learn Spanish and initiate his formation as a postulant. His smile and enthusiasm portrait in a very visible way his joy and missionary zeal.  We welcome him as he shares his WYD experience.


"Simon, son of John, do you love me?" This was the first sentece that deeply touched me in de opening mass of JMJ though I was far from the altar. And when asked, Peter did not even think about it immediatly answered, "Yes, Lord, you Know that I love you". Jesus continually asked him three times and he answered the same. This question could be Jesus´ asking everyone, especially those present at the opening mass.

We must have been asked this question several times in our lives, most probably by our friends or girlfriend, and also by those whom we love. I clearly remember my past girlfriends asking me this question and I was like Peter as I replied, "Yes, of course, you know how much I love you", but I actually did not. Now, probably because of my age and my relationship with Jesus Christ, I know the weight this question carries because once you answer this question, you will have to carry a heavy responsibility. Love needs sacrifice, love needs offering, it needs action, and the courage to overcome a lot of difficulties one has never imagined. I believed that when Peter answerd Jesus´ question, he never thought he would sacrifice his live and even die on the cross.


Misa inaugural de la JMJ

The gospel in the opening mass of JMJ made me deeply reflect on this. I thought that perhaps John Paul II began this JMJ for the youth of the world to wake their hearts up, and I for one has truly benefited from it.


Another moment that deeply touched me most was our vigil with the Holy Father on August 21. It was very hot that afternoon and then, it got very cold in the evening, and I was very hungry, even as many of us really suffered a lot that night. We slept in our wet sleeping sacks, which felt awfully unconfortable, but everyone stayed and did not leave. I do not know why. Maybe because many others did not leave, or because of the Pope, or because of the love of God, or the power of the Spirit of God. No matter what the reason was, it was an amazing experience for me.


Vigilia de oración con el papa en Cuatro Vientos

It was only seven days, but I tastes sweetnes and bitterness and joy, we met friends and we had a lot of nice pictures, visited a lot of churches, which can be said that we really had a great pilgrimage. Especially when we gathered together, shouting, singing, dancing and laughing, I deeply felt that God was there with us and he was so closed to us. Why do I say this? Because every time I saw someone who I had never met before, we just smiled to each other, or we simply greeted each other in Spanish, "Hola". Though we spoke in totally different lengauges during the mass, we all at the same time answered "Amen". I think that this was a sign of God´s being with us - the Holy Spirit was with us.


Although the JMJ 2011 had finished, I think it is just begining, and I have to bring this experience to my real life. In everything that happened, I know that God was there, and he is very close with me. I thank God for giving me my vocation to be a claretian missionary, which is truly a very good gift from him.




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