I tried to be early for the last mass for Ash Wednesday, and yes, I was early but not early to have my own seat. It was like there is some sort of concert and everybody wanted to be in the front or is trying to get a glimpse of what is happening. I was standing. Trying to have a great place to stand, it struck me. Why all of a sudden, there is a massive crowd here at our parish? Why? I too, has a simple answer to my own question: It’s Ash Wednesday. Then another question came to my mind. Why now? It is a question that gave me several realization as I listen to the readings and participate in the Mass.
It came to me that very moment that: One, there are so many Catholic students in the campus and second, they still know or at least participate in this kind of event as a Catholic.
As my eyes wander and see different faces for the first time while I am standing and listening to the sermon, I was just in awe of the number of young people hearing the mass. I have this crazy idea of imagining them raising their hands in worship, then that idea struck me again.
There are many youths that need God and they need God now. Why is that it is so difficult for us, servant leaders, and members of a charismatic community to share God’s word to them? Why is is that it is so difficult that when we conduct youth camps, we expect twenty young people but only five will come but when I was there, standing, there are many youths that know their faith, they just probably need to strengthen it so that there will come a time that churches will be filled not just in Ash Wednesdays or Dawn Masses.
It is a challenge for us, for me, as servant leaders that at some point in time, in the near future, all youths will be raising their hands in worship, kneeling and bowing down before Christ. The fact that there are times that out parish can be filled by such crowd even just this Ash Wednesday, there is hope. There is hope that someday churches will be filled by young people everyday.