world youth day update, day 2

have had a wonderful 2nd day here in sydney. the adoration (worship) last night with matt maher and the lifeteen gang was beautiful. the kids were pretty rowdy, as could be expected. but, of course, that also meant they threw themselves completely into worship. but the coolest moments where when a bishop (from lexington, ky) processed in carrying a cross (actually a monstrance, which is a new term for me — it’s a cross with a consecrated host in it), and the thousands of teenagers knelt in complete silence — i mean TOTAL silence — for about 10 minutes. it was a beautifully holy moment.

today, i tagged along with a few lifeteen peeps for a bit of sightseeing in sydney. we went down to the harbor and walked around for a bit. then we went on a small jetboat ride in sydney harbor. fantastic and fun! it was one of those jetboats that does 360-degree spins. we got totally soaked, despite wearing ponchos. but it was a total blast, and we got a great tour of the harbor and all the sights.

afterward, we made our way to the sydney opera house. man, that thing is even more amazing up close.

we walked around inside for a bit, and found they were about to have a spanish mass in one of the auditoriums, so went to that. the whole thing reminded me of the “every tribe and tongue” reality of the kingdom of god. there we were, a small group of americans, sitting in the sydney opera house, listening to catholic mass being said in spanish, completely surrounded by teenage pilgrims from spanish speaking countries around the world. very cool.

we had lunch as a waterside cafe, which had a perfect view of the downtown skyline, the harbor, and the harbor bridge.

then we walked over to the bridge. on the way, we joined the tens of thousands of teenagers from around the world who were walking through the city as part of a massive city-wide stations of the cross. lots of groups were carrying flags from their countries. again, i was reminded of the worldwide community of faith — it was hard NOT to be reminded of this!

tonite, i’m going to another worship event with matt maher and hillsong united. it’s an outdoor event, and they’re expecting about 150,000 to attend! tomorrow, we’re climbing to the top of sydney harbor bridge, which should be a kick!

7 thoughts on “world youth day update, day 2”

  1. that sounds totally amazing.
    i am of course, completely jealous. (australia! sigh.)
    look forward to other insights and thoughts you have coming off this gathering.
    i wonder what the impact is on the city of sydney, to have that many people (teens even) gathered together in God. very cool!

  2. 2 really cool things there. First, the communion pieces were actually placed inside a compartment in the cross? That’s pretty cool.
    Second, a city wide stations of the cross is an awesome idea, I think I might try that sometime in my town.(I’m Anglican, so I sometimes get to do cool Catholic stuff. :-P)

  3. Man, it looks like a blast! You should bring a negro with you next time you go (me)! Let’s chat whence thou returnest.

  4. hi, Marko!
    tim and i are *thrilled* that you are hanging with the throng of pilgrims in sydney, and just taking it all in. you lucky fellow, you!
    also wanted to say that when you experienced the procession with the monstrance, you were in the Real Presence of our Eucharistic King– His “body, blood, soul and divinity”– the King of Kings was right there with you!
    how cool is that?!?

  5. Mark-
    Have you seen the “places I’ve been utility” on facebook? I would be interested in seeing yours. You can put in all the places you’ve traveled in the world and it plots them out on the world map. It’s pretty cool. If you post it on your blog, let me know.

  6. Looks like you got to see/hear the Sons of Korah too. I first say them in 2003 at Elmbrook Church (Brookfield, WI) and they have become one of my favorite worship bands. They would be interesting to see at a NYWC sometime…

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