This year’s World Youth Day, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil closed on Sunday with Mass celebrated by Pope Francis with nearly 3 million young pilgrims at Campus Fidei.  This gathering site became a gigantic meeting tent where the Holy Father invited all present to lives of prayer and simplicity, leadership and active service –service especially of the poor and those on the margins of society.

Moses’ words in today’s reading from Exodus were certainly echoed on Sunday in Brazil:  “The Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations.”  Surely those present formed one of those “thousand generations” Moses was speaking about.

The challenge of any large spiritual gathering—especially one as moving as WYD—is to translate the spiritual energy and personal enthusiasm into daily practice.  For all of us in the shadow of this global faith event today’s gospel offers a cue.  How is that in an ongoing way we harvest the good seed from this event into the routine of our daily living?  “Whoever has ears ought to hear,”  Jesus exclaims.  What have I heard and seen recently that moves me to gather in even a small part of this spiritual harvest … just today?!

Dear Young People:  do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you!  Do not be afraid to dream of great things.  The Holy Spirit truly transforms us.  With our cooperation, he also wants to transform the world we live in.          

Pope Francis

—The Jesuit Prayer Team