“(Festivals of Praise) can’t be the same after this,” said the keynote speaker of the first Festival of Praise (FOP) of the school year to students packed in Finnegan Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Catholic speaker Brian Greenfield said the Church has a unique opportunity to evangelize in a world starving for truth and hope in the midst of social unrest. Greenfield said that the FOPs need to strengthen the students to go out and be the light of the Church that shines in the world.
“You guys were made for this moment,” Greenfield said. “There’s the world, for the first time, that’s open to receiving the word of truth.”
According to Greenfield, this is the Church’s time “to be what it is” and step into the cracks of a broken culture to be a ray of hope.
“We’re what the culture is looking for,” Greenfield said. “They just don’t know it yet.”
Greenfield described the recent social unrest that divided the nation as “the devil is dancing in the middle.” He said the culture is continually feeding the world “a consistent diet of death and destruction,” which ultimately reflected back on itself like a mirror.
Greenfield said, “God is calling us to truth and to courage.” The truth challenges the faithful to be courageous, said Greenfield, to be uncomfortable and to choose the hard, unpopular path that leads to the Lord.
“I’d rather be popular in front of (God) than popular in front of (the world),” he said. “I’m going to go down the (hard path) because that’s where the Lord is.”
Students said they were inspired by Greenfield’s encouragement.
“I liked how he talked about the Church filling in the cracks of society and we are the foundation of the world, in a way,” junior Liam Hughes said. “If we’re really living out the Christian living, we’re going to go out and fill people’s hearts with the love of God.”
Junior Matt Muldoon said, “The world’s looking for answers, but they neglect to look at the correct answer and Christ on the cross (even though they’ve turned so many different ways).”
Following Greenfield’s talk, the FOP continued with an hour of praise, worship and adoration.