Those who suggest that the Church has a limited future might just have been a little taken aback to see the spectacle of 3 Million young people celebrating Mass with Pope Francis, in Poland, last week.
What was more amazing was the depth of prayer and participation in a liturgy which, for many of our young people, is remote for them and says little to them.
Yet, there they were, singing, praying and, what is more important, enjoying. At one point, the guy leading the liturgy suggested that there should be a moment of silence, and that is what there was, silence. 3 Million excited, involved, young people stood in silence with Pope Francis and prayed! Quite amazing considering the numbers.
Last week, hundreds of our own young people travelled to Lourdes with the Diocesan Pilgrimage. They worked hard helping the sick. They had to get up early, work long hours and join in the prayer of the Pilgrimage.
I asked how the youth had been in Lourdes and the answer was “incredible!”.
So there we are. Not a dying church but a vibrant and thriving church filled with young people looking for God.
This is a church, though, that seems to have been preoccupied recently with a return to celebrating Mass with the priest’s back to the people.
When liturgy makes sense and is inclusive 3 Million young people enjoy.
Just a thought!