So does anyone here watch Star Wars? I have a test for you. Who is this character? Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi: you’re my only hope. Yes, congratulations, it is of course Princess Leia. It’s very interesting because this is the cry of the psalm today: Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. Except it has a bit more power for us, of course. Firstly because, unlike Obi-Wan, God actually exists. And secondly because, unlike Obi-Wan, the power of Jesus Christ is not limited to a few swipes of the lightsaber: Jesus is our creator, and the creator and master of all that exists.
And this is the first point of the Year of Youth. And it is the first point of World Youth Day. Through these things the Church reminds us of a fundamental reality: you are not alone in your life. The Lord is here on earth, in your life, with you. He is there in your room. He is there when you’re out with friends. He is there at your work and your time of study and in your family. He is at your side at all the worst possible times: and the best. Since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
And so the second point: you are God’s number one priority. This is what’s happening in the Second Reading. All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. That’s atheism. They give us lots of help: and it is and good and useful in times in our life to have recourse to good counsellors and psychologists, who are provided by him to give us good help. But they can never take away our sins or satisfy our heart. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. Jesus is saving you now. He is discussing you now, at God’s right hand, about how wonderful you are.
And this is God’s third point. His love is constant. We can be a bit insensitive about that, because it doesn’t sound so interesting. But it is extremely interesting when we recall one thing: everything else in your life will change. Those you love can go and will certainly die. Your health and wealth will come and go. The way you feel about yourself will go always up and down. Even you yourself will have to depart through the door of death. But God’s love for you will not change an iota. As Jesus says, even in the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Even then, He will still be there for you, coming in the clouds with great power and glory…he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven. In other words: build your life on the love of God for you. It is the only unmovable foundation in this life.
So my friends, praise God no! I praise God for the chance to accompany you to WYD to assist you in experiencing this. And I, and Fr Maurice, and all the priests of our deanery, we praise God for the chance to be able to accompany you on your journey, to serve you as your priests in the West. It’s true we are varying heights and healths and skills and ages: but we are always your priests. And we have no greater happiness than to serve you in advice, mass, prayer and confession. So come to us whenever you need. Tell us what you need. And pray for us, to help you as you need.