Good Friday in Iztapalapa Mexico

Good Friday in Iztapalapa Mexico

Mexico is a very religious country. It really shows during “Semana Santa, or “Holy Week”. You can really learn a lot about Mexico’s traditional Roman Catholic beliefs on Good Friday.

Mexico City is the home of the largest re-enactment of the Way of the Cross in the world. For months, people in Iztapalapa prepare for the re-enactment of the Passion of the Christ (click here for the official website in Spanish), and they have done it since 1843.

More than a million people visit the delegation on Good Friday to watch the processional and the crucifixion of Jesus. I heard on the radio today that there were about 800,000 people there when it started. There were probably another 200,000 who showed up by the time the man representing Jesus made it to the hill they use for Golgotha.

One of these days I’ll go and see it first-hand, but this year I just watched it on TV. It was covered all afternoon on local television stations. Here is a little I recorded while watching.

Barack Obama, Passion, and Youth Ministry

Barack Obama, Passion, and Youth Ministry

I recently quoted President Felipe Calderon as saying, “Hope must be offered to young people who don’t believe in anything.”

The President has a point. But it’s not that young people don’t believe in anything. Many of them don’t believe in the things we wished they would believe in (especially institutions such as the government or the church).

In the following video, we interviewed some young people about what they believe about God and the church. I think you’ll find their responses interesting.

Young people, when they do believe in something, believe in it with all their hearts. We all remember the picture of the Chinese young person opposing the government and putting himself in the way of a row of tanks.

There are young (and old) people in Mexico who believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe enough to crawl on their knees towards her image so that their sins can be forgiven. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. They have a conviction that goes beyond what the church usually thinks they have.

Sure, apathy rules the day, but young people are capable of being passionate. I think it was one of the most interesting things about the recent election in the United States.

Young people drove the campaign of Barack Obama. They were his supporters from the beginning. They latched on to the tools he was using to drive his campaign. He was definitely targeting them, and their enthusiasm and passion helped him arrive at the White House. He is a young person’s President.

Young people can be passionate. It’s our job to help them become passionate about the correct things. We need to present them with a Jesus that is worth being passionate about. After all, he’s much more relevant than any political party or presidential candidate. He’s the real change we need.

So, this post begs the question…”How do you instill passion into your young people?”

(Thumbnail photo: BarackObama on flickr)