Do not follow the snake oil salesmen who want you to remain on the couch, in front of the computer and the cell phone … We are not at war. But the answer to the violence of our time is not the “couch-happiness“. And even paralysis caused by fear. ” So Pope Francis has urged young people to World Youth Day in Poland in late July. Over 2 million have listened with enthusiasm as he explained that Jesus is the only answer to the many signs of violence, and to meet the poor, the refugee, the orphan without fear of cultural and religious differences must be the style of the christian of today.
Between them there was the youth group of the Community of Minas Gerais that this summer have taken seriously the Pope’s call in their experience of sharing with young people and the disabled. Wallyson, the youngest of the group, is back in the lab of audiovisual and spends his time with teenagers editing documentaries, taking photos for the web and radio. He has lived before on his skin the call to live the hospitality of those who are at the margins and so – he writes – “Jesus has changed my life and made me discover my passions!”
Carlos André with the children continues craft activities and athletics in the Casa da juventude of the Community in Brazil, on the outskirts of Itaobim. They always live with courage the challenge of multiculturalism in Brazil, despite the ongoing political troubles. And indeed there are many young people that have overcome the fear to come out of its shell, the walls of their own country to be the Church output, putting themselves on the front line.
Gennaro is 25 years old, and has lived a year in Palestine for the Operation Dove Project, non-violent Peace Corps of Pope John XXIII Community, of the protection of basic rights in the village of At-Tuwani, which has chosen the way of nonviolent popular resistance. One thing he learned in the encounter between peoples in conflict “knowing to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand with the eyes of the other the problems, living in close contact and without bias with some and with others.” It was also in Lebanon with Syrian humanitarian corridors and this summer he lived always in emergencies in the reception of refugees in the port of Reggio Calabria and he’s a reference point in the retreat house for foreign minors. More than couch.happiness! “Here the emergency continues – he says -. But there is a common language for these children and kids who welcome: the language of the family. I remind them often that “I’m your brother, or your father if you want to, not an operator”. On the other hand we live in the same house, although we have different languages, and we all need a family. ” The world is the common home in which we can continue living only with peace.
Alice and Sara also learned it, they lived for a year in the Netherlands as a voluntary civil service and have had to do with the Dutch culture which is very different from ours. They discovered the beauty of sharing with the last through the house-family that it’s trying to live ecclesial communion with other local organizations, but also to create links with the rom communities often ghettoized. “Despite the policies of closure of borders – tells Alice – even in this country, the first groups of refugees were welcomed, a group of Eritrean women”. And when a few months ago Sara returned, decided to live right next to refugees in Sansavino community. These and many other stories have characterized the summer of hundreds of young people that with Pope John XXIII’s Community have lived on different continents the outside the walls fields and experiences of international voluntary, marked by two key words at all easy to live: peace and forgiveness.
The style is always sharing with those who are most fragile, staying on the side of the victims, of those most marginalized, of the last in history. As Father Oreste Benzi in the first experiences with young people alongside the latest “Young people have enthusiasm and such a charge that makes them meet the poor, without fear of diversity. But then it takes the conviction to share life with the poor. ” For this, year by year, he encouraged to build bridges of peace with courage and to be “arsonists in love, not firemen.” For this young people can be in every corner of the earth, often outside the spotlight of international media, ferment for a new society, writing new pages of history, peace pages and not war’s.
Taken from “Always”