My vocation started with the youth in my parish way back exactly 10 years ago, and i remember that the desire was intense, morely intensified by the Holy Week experience with the youth at that time too.
This year i went to Villablanca, Huelva here in Spain out of obedience to the mandate of the formator. I really wanted to go to Sevilla to experience what it is to be in Spain during Holy Week because they say and i have seen in you tube how they celebrate it, of how precious it is, etc. But i was told to join the Pascua Misionera that the equipo Pastoral Juvenil Vocacional of the cmf province of Betica have had to hold in Villablanca. So i went with fear, frustration, but i guess with a bit of excitement too because the place is 25 min away from Prortugal. I had fears because i know that i can´t speak spanish well and i do not know what to do with the incapacity to formulate phrases well, the capacity to animate others well in a different language and a different context. I was frustrated because i was thinking of a better way to celebrate the season. But as usual, God has its way of teaching his servants of how it is to be a real servant and how it is to be a real Christian.
At the very beginning of the week, when we were organizing the groups, i found a small light glimmering in my eyes as i see the more or less 20 plus youth of the age 18 and above coming from different places of Andalucia. My memories of my youthfulness and memories of the youth ministry i´d been with in the past started to come back, one by one. The aspirations for the youth, the old plans i had before, the projects, the activities we wanted to do before started to pop up. I was silent the whole week actually, deep within because of course i have to speak if necessary when in groups or in sessions or during the house visitations. I admire very much how they had organized the group and i admire very much how willing these young boys and girls are willing to be formed, to serve, to share their lives to others, to be witnesses of the resurrected Christ, to share the light to others, to evangelize, to be easter missionaries or pascua misioneros as they call it.
I have had many realizations during that week and perhaps i can sight some of them here.
1. I believe and firmly believe that the Church of Europe is still alive and the only reason that they say its dying because perhaps they are looking at the old church and kept on comparing the new church with the old ways. I believe, after seeing this young individuals and 20 plus more who came later on Holy Wednesday just to contemplate and to pray, that the church is just renovating, regenerating, evolving, transforming, and hope is still at hand, and that the Espirit is still alive in the hearts of the young. Maybe not seen as it was before, but it is.
2. Evangelization is not all words proclaimed, it is too an act of being silence. Living is proclaiming. With the incapacity to speak well in spanish, i was able to live the Holy Week well, and perhaps i had transpired something to them, i suppose. I don´t know and i may naot be certain. But i discovered that indeed there is a time to speak and a time to be silent in the life of a servant of God. There is a time to listen and a time to respond. There is time for everything. God is with everything in both oposing lines. Its just that we do not have time for him, and sometimes not even a minute or a second of the 24 hours that we have everyday of our lives.
3. The Liturgy of the Church is so beautifully constructed and defined, prepared, with all themes etc. But sometimes, it is not necessary to be too strict with it and in celebrating it, following all the instructions of how to do it, etc. I beleive that the more it is closer to the people, more practical, more heartwarming, the better. God will not ask how did you step by step celebrate the Pascual Vigil, but how did it reached the hearts of the people or how did it transformed their lives. Transformation is more important than tactness and obedience. Steadfast love and mercy is always above true justice.
4. The visit to the sick, although during my turn, there was none of them present in their houses, but i encountered some during the house visitation, was a reminder of the care of the sick and the love of God to any age of any human being. Seeing and visting homes with individuals alone in the house made me think of my mom. Here i am visiting these people, but how about my mother, how about my own mom? Is there anyone who ever visted her at home? Have i ever visted her like the way i am doing here now? I remember my grandmother too, who took care of me from infancy but later on towrads the end of her life i was not around because i was in the seminary and having apostolate at the home for the aged at the back of SM North, .... and my Lola? Where am i when she needed me? Where am i when she needed my love? Its hard to be torn between two loves, between God and my family.
5. Perhaps i gained new friends this time. I don´t know if i did, because i didn´t talked much the whole week. But perhaps those who became contacts in tuenti considered me one. Perhaps?!