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The gift of having a Marist heart

16/08/2013: Guatemala - Photo gallery

To start with, let me say I was surprised and excited when I received the invitation to participate in this experience. It sometimes happens that the person involved is the last one to know, and this was no exception. It was surprising indeed. After I was officially notified, I felt joy and gratitude for the confidence that was placed in me. It was unexpected, but I know that God’s things are the least expected.

Regarding the CHANGE gathering, I would underline the gift of experiencing our Marist heart, and the opportunity to speak the language of love: a look, a smile, a hand, a hug, were worth more than many words. Language is not a barrier to live our family spirit. Let me tell you that it was a true Pentecost: everyone spoke their own language, and nevertheless we understood each other, because we were moved by the Spirit, the same Spirit that unites us.

We experienced Marist life without boundaries. I have the certainty that it is worth being Marist, being loved by Jesus and Mary, staying close to the children and young people most in need, risking to serve others, because this is what makes me really happy.

I make my own the words of a brother who said: “These young people are the YES generation”. I wish the future can be a permanent spring for us, allowing us to bloom, shine, and renew our commitments. And as we know, spring always brings about a CHANGE that transforms and gives hope for a better world. I welcome this gift, and I am ready to live my own spring together with the children and young people I accompany and who fill up my heart.

We were welcomed with love by many young people, brothers and laity who share the same charism and joy. There is life! I have experienced it, and it feels good! Young people asked the brothers to keep walking together and trusting each other. I take with me a deep desire to keep living our community experience: let us be family and friends living out mission and selfless service, and motivated by Champagnat and Jesus.

About the WYD, I have the certainty that we must be one Church: banners and representative logos should not be a reason for competition and separation. The Church as a community should be our home. We should not be afraid to live in the Church with a youthful spirit. Let us promote communion, fraternity and sorority, to change this broken world. I felt the invitation to be a community full of faith, friendship, support, spiritual life, which stands in solidarity with the poor, a Marian Church including every person and calling to commitment. In the words of Pope Francis: “Jesus did not say to someone in the singular ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’; he was addressing a group of people when he said so”. We do not go alone! So let us not be afraid: we only need to do this together as a community. The responsibility to evangelize belongs to everyone, so let us live like the Good Samaritan, being in a lowly position next to those in need, not at the top in a selfish and superficial attitude.

Now that I have seen, heard, listened to, and experienced, I am accountable! It is our responsibility to ensure that these gatherings will not become just a consumption of experiences. I’m into the game! The Lord has trusted me. I really want the fruits of my work to be for the good of others.

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