Madrid (Fides Service) – Bishop Francisco Perez Gonzales of Osma-Soria diocese and National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain, gave Fides Service his impression of Pope John Paul II’s two day visit to Spain, 3 and 4 May 2003.
“I think that the Pope’s meeting with more than 700,000 young people was a moment of grace. The air was that of a new Pentecost. The prayers, the testimony given and the Pope’s words stimulated us to engage in the new mission of evangelisation in the third millennium. Young people are drawn by his voice and his witness as a teacher who reflects in his face the face of the Master. In Spain a new lap for evangelisation was inaugurated. The challenge launched by the Pope is important for our new times, and now we must cultivate the seed which has been sown abundantly. The youngsters were enthusiastic. I am certain that vocations will increase.
One important aspect is to hand on the faith through witness of life. At the Quatro Vientos air field we caught a glimpse of a new way of being missionaries: with testimony and generous self-giving for love of Christ. The Pope told us that Christ is worth loving. “I am young at 83 because 52 years ago I chose Christ!” the Pope told the young people.
I am certain that the young people present understood, or at least realised, that being a missionary does not interfere with full realisation of self. To be a missionary we only have to let God reveal the plan he has for each of us. Large groups of young Spaniards are planning to set out for other places, even if they have to give up their holidays, to live the faith and carry it with simplicity and humility to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ. “ RZ (Fides Service 7/5/2003 EM lines 22 Words: 308)