“I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). These familiar words of the Blessed Mother are on the lips of millions of young people this week as World Youth Day is celebrated in Panama, January 22 to January 27. This theme is reflected in the official theme song for World Youth Day, Hágase en Mí Según Tu Palabra (Let Your Will Be Done in Me):
He aquí la sierva del Señor
Hágase en mí según tu palabra
Tu sierva, yo soy
Tu hija, yo soy
Tu hijo, yo soy.
(Here I am, the servant of the Lord
Speak your Word in me and let your Will be done
Your chosen ones, we are
Sent out to do Your will
Your sons and daughters, we are.)
I love the implications of this song, in which we identify ourselves first as the “servant” of the Lord, and then as his “sons and daughters.” We are both! To be the servant of the Lord means that we are his sons and daughters. We do not live a relationship of servitude with God, but a filial relationship—a relationship of love. It is love that moves us to go out to do the will of God; it is love that moves us to ask him to send us out. It is love that has moved millions of young people to gather in Panama this week to reflect, pray, laugh, and celebrate.
This is what I’m reflecting on this week during the World Youth Day celebrations. This week invites us precisely to reflect on what is occurring in Panama and how it is playing out in our lives. I encourage you to follow the events in Panama this week. You can stream live events, follow the talks of the Holy Father, and follow World Youth Day on social media. A couple good sources are: http://worldyouthday.com/panama-2019 and http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2019/outside/documents/papa-francesco-gmg-panama-2019.html.
In addition to following what is happening, bring these events to prayer. Pray for the young people who are in Panama. Pray for those who are organizing all the events. Pray for (and if you can, participate in!) the World Youth Day events that are taking place here in the US and Canada. It is an opportune time to pray for vocations—to the priesthood, to the religious life, to marriage and family life. Finally, pray for yourself, that you too may receive the fruits of World Youth Day that God has prepared especially for you!
Here we are, the servants of the Lord
Here we are, your sons and daughters, we are….
Praying for you!
-Sr Emily Beata