I write this page in the midst of pain, sadness and uncertainty over the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and with Pope Francis’ Lenten invitation to us not to tire of doing good. It is not easy to maintain serenity and calm in the turmoil of such complex circumstances. It is not a question of who has more or less reason to escalate a conflict, but how is it possible at this point in human history, we are still so insensitive and foolish.
For the past two years we have been suffering from an unexpected pandemic. We have seen many people we know infected with greater or lesser severity, we have mourned those who have died, and yet we have still not managed to bring about peace.
Lent calls us to internalize the call to conversion, to a change of mind, heart and spirit. It can help us to understand our role as believers in Christ and children of the Church. We must be signs and instruments of human unity and salvation. We must recognise ourselves in our weakness as the presence of the merciful God who summons, calls and draws his children into universal brotherhood.
Within the Church, we are members of Teams of Our Lady. Each of our activities as team members, each element of our pedagogy and the mission which accompanies us, must show this path of spirituality, unity and the desire for holiness.
Our ordinary meetings, which bring us together month after month as a small ecclesial cell, must be true celebrations of the life of the Church. We gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We share material food and the food that nourishes our spirit. We pray together and share with our brothers and sisters our concerns, our achievements, our progress and our weaknesses, and we allow the Word to illuminate the path we walk. Furthermore, we allow ourselves to be accompanied in the growth of faith and knowledge of Christian life and doctrine, and we offer our brothers and sisters what God’s grace provides to us. We receive and give, we ask and share, we praise, bless and thank. It is a true Christian celebration that, for a few hours, unites a group of believers who long to respond to the Lord in his call to be holy.
Lent and the team meeting are realities that we bring to our reflection these days. They are to become a contribution to the journey towards Easter, that we will soon celebrate. There is pain, there is suffering, there is the cross. But we are moving towards the light of the Resurrection and we are filled with hope before the love of God, manifested in his Son Jesus, the Christ.
May we become more and more aware of the meaning of being joyful followers of the one who took up the cross. May we experience in each of our gatherings, the deep sense of becoming living communities of faith, hope and love. We walk towards holiness in the midst of the palpable realities that surround us, and we do so with our brothers and sisters in faith and belonging. God bless you.
Ricardo Londoño Domínguez