“Belonging to you, Lord, is my delight.” This part of the song was sung in a beautiful chorus of praise and adoration of Jesus at the first great moment of this Saturday in the Shalom Youth Congress. The young people from all over the world present in surrendered with gestures, words, and a longing to have a heart full of love to Christ while the Blessed Sacrament passed by them during adoration.
And the desire for holiness was the motto of the first preaching of the day. “The saints are alive!” This exclamation marked the speech of Father Cristiano Pinheiro. To the crowd of young people at the Olympic Training Center, the priest remembered that we are “citizens of heaven” and that is where our path should be. With a young and outgoing language, the priest brought the memory of Saint Thérèse and St. Francis of Assisi, two testimonies for the young people. And of course, the moment was closed with music. Closing with the priest and singer interpreting the song “Eternal Union”.
The morning ended with the Eucharistic Celebration. In the homily, Father Denys Lima used “the plane metaphor”. He said that “in our youth, we have the strength to take off. And it is the Holy Spirit that keeps us up. ” And he made a request: “Use your strength tenfold to return to God.”
The afternoon was dedicated to Our Lady. Shalom Community co-founder Emmir Nogueira formed the young with the theme: “Under the gaze of the mother”. It began by saying that after Jesus the most important thing in our lives is Mary. She connected the icon of the Gate of heaven to the testimony of Ronaldo Pereira and to the various stages of her life to speaking of Our Lady. “All the treasures that come from the Cross of Christ have been given to Mary,” said Emmir.
And a strong moment of Marian prayer marked the late afternoon in the SYC. The young people were presented with an icon made especially to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “Youth for Jesus Project”. The Mother of Mercy icon was inspired by the tradition of the Charism which every jubilee anniversary of the vocation does a celebrative icon.