In our lives each event either small or large is a manifestation of the deep love that God has for us. This love comes to us through our Congregation, our community, our family, the people who walk with us day by day, the new people who begin to form part of our lives and also those who come and go and in brief moments leave us with deep-felt messages of God`s love.
The world youth day (WYD) is one of these events that has marked my life mission and what I would like to share now are certain moments that remain with me. One moment was getting to know the members of my group as they shared their joy and excitement; also, the Brazilian families who welcomed us into their homes and attended us with so much generosity and affection. They said: “By your presence here we feel blessed by God.” For me too it has been a blessing because they not only opened the doors of their houses, but also their hearts.
While in Sao Paulo, when our group of more than a hundred people were walking through the streets, cheering and singing, I saw people coming out of their houses greeting us, and in one of those moments as I walked and waved to the people, to my great surprise I saw a woman running toward me, Yes! She was heading toward me and was giving me a hug of peace and telling me how happy she was for this event and that our presence here will help the Brazilian Church. I believe that not only the Brazilian Church would be helped but also the whole church especially the youth.
Photo: Columbans Sisters Eufrasia Garcia (Peru), Erisa Lee (South Korea) and Gloria Santos (Philippines) who are all missioned in Peru.
The Copacabana beach was the site of celebrations and the meeting with the Pope. In this place there were long hours of waiting, great fanfare and excitement to see Pope Francis. On his arrival there was a great outburst of applause and cheering. There was so much youthful enthusiasm, and also there were moments of prayer and silence and a great expectation to hear his message.
(Photo) Vigil on Copacabana – Waking up to a new morning
In one of his homilies, the Pope urged the young people with this message,
“Maintain hope, let yourself be surprised by God and live with joy.”
This message invites me and encourages me to continue to maintain hope. In my journeying with the young people I have learnt how important it is to open the way so they can become aware of that hope and recognize God’s will and with joy find their call in life. I hope, too, I will be open to God`s will, be surprised by Him, welcoming His Will like Mary.
(Photo)Chinese students meet with the Peru group
Now I can understand that this hope and this openness to be surprised by God will enable me to live with great joy, then I will never cease to be a witness to this great joy which is Christ himself who is my life and the reason of my being a Columban sister.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Congregation for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be part of WYD in Brazil.
Sister Eufrasia Garcia is a Peruvian Columban Sister who has been on mission in the Philippines and is now on Vocation and Promotion Ministry in Peru.