Meeting of Youth of St. Joseph family of Latin America and Caribbean
Theme: Interconnecting dreams, embracing Life
Participation in the meetings of youth of the St. Joseph Family of the Latin America and Caribbean is an excellent opportunity to deepen our understandings, exchange information, share ideas and to grow together in knowledge on different topics. The themes of each meeting encourage us to reflect on our role, values, establishing of our relationships and the meaning we attribute to all of this as human beings in the world.
We began our meetings by the input session of Fr. Simón Pedro, a Benedictine monk. His session led us to reflect and deepen our thoughts on the incarnation of God and human frailties, as well as it invited us to reflect on the dreams of Joseph and to assume the mission that God entrusts to each one of us.
After the session, we had the opportunity to meet and interact in small groups and discuss the questions. These were enriching moments, because from our sharing and reflection on the topic, we built our responses. The diversity of the group helped us to create communion and unity.
By re-reading of our experience of the two meetings, we can say that it has contributed and gave meaning to our journey of faith. We feel that we are led in the light of the spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which invites us to reflect on how we are weaving relationships at this time in our lives. Therefore, we were encouraged to become aware of God who is close, that is, a God of relationship, who reveals himself in the unity of the Holy Trinity. Based on the spirituality everyone needs to develop a unity, among themselves, with others and with the world but all in God. Spirituality is part of human nature, as each day is a unique opportunity to feel the pulse of life and to give thanks and contemplate creation. The theme of the first meeting was involving us in this mystery of the Trinity, which challenges and questions our plans and projects.
Spirituality is linked to the experience of the ‘Word’ which became flesh and dwelt among us, and it connects us with the deepest and the most sacred, which gives life. This process teaches us and helps us to reflect on the encounter of the God of Revelation in the Good News. We discover the vulnerability of God, who self-empties to be a bridge between our needs and those of others.
In this sense, we reflect on relationships, because in our daily lives we live with many people, some for a longer time, others for a short while. With some we have more affinities and with others not so much. However, it is important to realize that human life is always developing in relationship with others and forms a circle of relationships. This is an art that must be learned from the mother's womb and in the family. It expands in school, in social, religious, political life and has its extension in all the fields of life, since coexistence is an emotional need of the human beings.
Another theme addressed by Fr. Simon Pedro was ‘Living the Incarnation’ which made us to reflect and believe that a humanized and resurrected world is possible. A new humanity is built from inculturated faith communities that need the presence of committed lay women and consecrated persons who place themselves at the service of unity and are the sacramental presence of the Risen Lord who is the head of the Church and the first fruit of the new humanity.
Easter experience, the contemplation of the mysteries of the Trinity, Incarnation and the Eucharist are the driving force in our life. The mystery of the Incarnation makes God present in the world. In the Incarnation, Jesus is revealed as par excellence of God’s love, who is our Father-Mother. Thus, he became human and pitched his tent in human history, walked with his people, being the Living Word of God and bringing the hope of the Good News through his actions, rescuing those who were excluded from the society, creating space for everyone to become participants in the Civilization of Love.
Joseph is a man who through his doubt breaks the patriarchal logic, prioritizes the care for life and distances himself from the legacy of Jewish law. In this break, he discovers the novelty which was in the heart of God and by the light of the Holy Spirit gets converted and walks on the path of faith. This silent presence of Joseph teaches us the great value of contemplation which takes place in our daily life, in the encounter with our neighbours and God.
The acceptance and experience of the mystery give meaning to the trajectory of the life St. Joseph which was certainly not easy. The path of Joseph and Mary was filled with surprises and obstacles which made them feel weak and vulnerable from the very early age. They felt excluded since in their culture the law has greater value than life. This experience strengthened the bond of reciprocity and care for each other.
We are invited to assume the same responsibility as Joseph, to be caretakers of God's dream, with creative courage, responding to the calls of the time, collaborating with the mystery of God and a relationship of love and mutual care.
The meetings were held on the 31st of July and the 7th of August. More than 100 people participated in the meetings. There were 40 participants (8 sisters, 32 lay people) from Chambery/Pinerolo. We have planned for two more meetings which will be held on 28th and 29th of August.
Cleide Martins and Sabrina Ribeiro, collaborators at St. Joseph School, Pelotas/RS
Great job nice to read, I support you with my prayers may God bless you all
Como é bom ver a participação de todos vocês neste Encontro Latino-Americano e caribenho de jovens da Família São José. Parabéns aos organizadores, às Irmãs de São José, ao sacerdote que orienta as reflexões e a todos os jovens que aceitaram “entrelaçar sonhos e abraçar a Vida”. Que nosso amado São José continue intercedendo por cada um de vocês neste desejo de realimentar a fé, a esperança e o amor em busca de uma espiritualidade viva e pulsante no desejo da construção do Reino de Deus. SÃO JOSÉ, VALEI-NOS!