“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19)

World Youth Day 2013

The theme of WYD Rio2013 summons young people of Brazil and of the world to take a call to mission, living as witnesses of the Risen Christ.

Taken from the end of Matthew’s gospel, the context of the theme is to respect the Resurrection of Christ. The disciples, who until then were frightened and locked inside for fear of the Jews, encounter Christ, the victor over death.

The encounter with Christ Risen encourages all to the living of this mandate. Mary Magdalene sees the empty tomb and witnesses! Peter and John believe and testify when they see the strips of linen and the cloth! The disciples of Emmaus recognize Christ in the sharing of bread and testify that Christ lives!

It is in this context that Christ gives the mandate: Go! Go because He is alive and he walks in front of his friends. Go because Christ is victor and remains with each member of the Church. Go and announce the resurrection!

This is what the theme of WYD Rio2013 seeks to generate in the heart of every young pilgrim. It motivates each participant to let the light of the Risen Christ dissipate the darkness of fear and doubts that paralyze. It encourages young people to be missionaries even in situations of conflict, in countries where Christians are persecuted, amid a secularized world that does not want to live Christian values.

So this is the mandate of the Church to the Catholic youth. Go, young missionaries who trust in the Church’s Magisterium and support their faith in liturgy and life in community! Go and evangelize with your personal gifts! Go and strengthen your faith with answers and explanations about the issues that distress the world today! Go and witness the joy of the encounter with the Risen Christ at WYD Rio2013!