Communication to the Congregation: EGC 2021 / N°2


The third day of EGC continued with its focus on the theme “a stranger on the road”. The day started with the sharing of some reflections, dreams and thoughts related to the previous day, followed by a reflective prayer on the theme of the day.

A considerable length of this day was spent on highlighting issues, concerns, insights and challenges that emerged from the reports of the provinces and regions. What emerges as a clear indication for the Congregation is the invitation to “come down from the donkey” in response to the needs of the poor and the vulnerable in our midst.

Continued reflection and sharing in small groups on how to be a Good Samaritan further clarified the direction we are called to take. Deeply grounded in the Word of God, we are invited to see reality from the perspective of the vulnerable and to develop a spirituality that can stimulate and empower us to greater openness, flexibility and creativity in meeting the needs to the “stranger” on the roads of our life situations.

On day four, we began looking at “envisaging and engendering an open world”. That the EGC would spend four days on this theme signifies the importance of this orientation. The participants of the EGC are clearly listening to the teachings of Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti in an attempt to find ways of responding to his call in appropriate ways.

The day began with a meaningful prayer and reflection on the faith of the Canaanite woman (Mt. 15:21-28). Then it was time to get to know each other through personal stories – opening up to each other’s personal world as lived out in one’s natural family and in the SCJM family. These sacred moments of sharing were very enriching and it strengthened our bonding as members of the Congregation. It brought about a sense of gratitude, solidarity, trust, understanding, listening, and openness among us. We felt the presence of the divine in all of our experience and could see how God has been leading us all along in our life. The day ended with a thanksgiving hymn; “Every person is a sacred story”. How beautiful and great are the works of the Lord!

Day five began with the reflection on the universal experience of vulnerability, based on Mt 16: 21-23 and the story of Job. Human life is fragile & we all have experienced it especially during the pandemic. Blessed are the fragile, the vulnerable, the poor in spirit - they belong to the kingdom of God. Through this morning reflection, we were being invited to embrace our own vulnerability, experiences in diverse ways.

The shared activities of today focused on moving from a closed world to an open world. For reflection we were directed to listen to our own experience of being members of an international congregation. We recalled and shared with each other and with the whole group experiences of times we felt energised and estranged as an individual member and as a province / region in the congregation. It was a time when we felt being trusted, encouraged and supported and a sacred moment to recognize and accept our own vulnerability, individually and as a congregation.

Another significant work of this day was to identify those factors that prevent us from noticing the strangers in our midst and to consider what choices we have to make in order to “come down” from the donkey. Our answers were recorded and displayed using an interactive presentation software (Mentimeter). The day ended with sharing of our feelings of gratitude, communion and support to one another.

Today, the 6th day of our virtual EGC, we have been focusing on “building bridges to a new story” as we continue our journey through Fratelli Tutti.

Our morning prayer, led by Frances, was centred on the icon of transfiguration of the Lord and reflection on Mk. 9:2-10. The icon is a manifestation of the presence of God. It draws and brings us into this presence so that we can experience God in our soul. In this way we become a living icon of God.

We were invited to go up the mountain to the place of meeting, the place of listening. We asked for the grace to open our eyes to see Jesus leading us out to ministry and to the people.

After prayer, Br. Emili introduced the work of the day. The question for reflection was: What important choice, in real and practical ways, could we now make to create the first chapter of a new story that opens us more to each other and to the world? The group responses were presented on the padlet for the assembly for further reflection and response.

At the moment, we continue with the same theme that we started on Day Four. More of it, in the next letter!


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