Youth Pilgrimage 2015

I have a confession to make: I have a terrible sense of direction. Once, when I was in Rome, I decided to run a few errands and while I was at it I’d visit a few beautiful old churches I had wanted to see. Even though I had been in Rome many times, I got lost. I was turned around and confused. After a while, I did what any sensible person would do: I got a cappuccino, then I hailed a taxi which safely brought me back to the place where I was staying. Once I returned, I told a fellow priest what had happened. After he got through laughing, he said, “You’d better not walk alone.”

Walking with Jesus
That priest gave me good advice; and that’s the advice I’m giving you. It’s not that I think you’ll get lost on the streets of Baltimore. What I’m really talking about is this: you shouldn’t walk by yourself  as you make the journey through life. Lots of people try to do just that and many get lost.

It’s possible to walk alone even when there are people everywhere. One of the loneliest places in the world is a busy city street full of strangers. People are hurrying to appointments or looking at their I-phones. Many are self-absorbed and indifferent to everyone else. When we think only of ourselves, we shut everyone else out, the Lord included. That’s when we get lose our way. We start telling ourselves lies. Our relationships with others deteriorate. We can easily fall into all kinds of self-destructive behaviors. We can fall into sin.

To walk in truth we need to walk with Lord and with fellow disciples. Pope Francis summed up the central message of the Gospel this way: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free you.” We are here this morning for Eucharistic adoration, to praise, to thank, and to adore the Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

As we look upon the Lord present with us in such a deep, personal, and real way, we ask to deepen our attachment, our friendship with him, so that we many never walk alone, so that we know that the Lord is by our side whether we are at home, at school, engaged in sports, taking a test, or trying to solve a problem, facing a temptation, grieving a loss, or trying to find out what we should do with rest of our lives. The Lord doesn’t want us walking alone. He doesn’t want us to get lost. He wants to walk with us.

There’s something else. Walking with Jesus means walking with one another. That’s why Jesus gave us the Church. He knew we’d never be his followers all by ourselves. He knew we’d lose our way. Pope Francis reminds us we can’t love Christ without loving the Church. So in spending these few minutes in adoration, we deepen our friendship with Christ and our commitment to the Church. We ask the Lord to show us our vocation in the Church, whether priesthood, religious life, or the call to marriage and family.

So let us walk in truth and love. Let us adore Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life. God bless you and keep you in his love.

Archbishop William E. Lori

Archbishop William E. Lori was installed as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore May 16, 2012.

Prior to his appointment to Baltimore, Archbishop Lori served as Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., from 2001 to 2012 and as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington from 1995 to 2001.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Lori holds a bachelor's degree from the Seminary of St. Pius X in Erlanger, Ky., a master's degree from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg and a doctorate in sacred theology from The Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1977.

In addition to his responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop Lori serves as Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.