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Meeting of Superiors in Madrid: Living the Universal Apostolic Body Today

March 15, 2017

On March 11 we, the superiors of the province of Spain-Italy, attended a meeting called by the provincial superior, M. Carmen Martín. This meeting was a continuation of the previous one that took place in December 2016. A world globe presided over our meeting and served at a certain moment to express a significant gesture in which we went passing this ball from one to another, not individually but joining many hands to hold it and invite others to hold it too.
We started the meeting with Mª Carmen’s words of welcome and gratitude. After a few moments of reflection, each one of us communicated through a Thinking Routine which helped us to express through a color, a symbol and an image, what we took from the December meeting.
We dedicated a time to personal prayer with the text of John 20: 19-20, where we were able to verify how, in light of the experience of recognizing the risen Christ, the apostolic community is transformed:
• going from fear to PEACE
• From darkness to JOY
• From closed doors, to SENDING TO MISSION

With the recognition of the risen Christ among us, we will experience that He, today, also sends us to preach the Gospel with new dynamism that spreads joy and hope. Again, Mª Carmen led us to focus on the theme of the day: How do we live being a universal apostolic Body in our life today, in our province today? We recalled what GC XVII tells us in numbers 5, 6, 7.
Sometimes we forget that it is God who sustains us and we remain in our littleness and our poverty. We run the risk of paralyzing ourselves, “enclosing ourselves” in our own weaknesses. And also the danger – as the Pope told us in his homily addressed to consecrated men and women on the day of Consecrated Life – of falling into a “temptation that can make our consecrated life sterile: the temptation of survival. An evil that can gradually take root within us, and within our communities.”
To guard ourselves against this temptation the Pope invites us to: put Jesus in the midst of his people. Only that can give us back joy and hope, only that will save us from living an attitude of survival. Only that will make our lives fruitful and keep the heart alive. By putting ourselves with Jesus in the midst of his people we can go out of ourselves to join others.
Aware that God comes to meet us, that God sustains us, that God does not disappoint us, that hope in Him does not disappoint … we place ourselves as a universal apostolic body, a Body in which its members:
• Feel affectionately and effectively linked.
• Evangelize with new dynamism that spreads joy and hope.
• Witness to their vocation in such a way that new vocations can emerge.

After a moment of personal reflection, we spent some time sharing what we thought in small groups.
At another time we were invited to think about the reorganization of our presences, trying to answer this question: how can we reorganize, reconfigure our presences, community groups, today for the “greater service of God and the good of our neighbors”, so that the evangelizing action is strengthened, so as to live in mission, from the mission and for the mission …?
At this point we felt the need to dare to dream … and to commit ourselves to this dream: to keep seeking, suggesting, proposing … all that we are discovering, to reorganize ourselves in Apostolic Nuclei with a Common Mission Project.

In the afternoon we received information from the assisting teams of the province. Pablo Labandeira and Mª José Fernández instructed and sensitized us on the theme of Communication. Blanca Esther Iriarte on the work plan that has been proposed by the team of Revitalization of our being in mission and Mariam Cantalejo presented to us the Youth and Vocation Ministry Team, the work they are doing and the activities planned for this year.
We ended the day with the celebration of the Eucharist where we leave all our reality and our dreams for Jesus to make them real.

Mª Ángeles Elorza fi

Published in Spain-Italy