Nemi, Italy. September 2, 2021. The amazement experienced by the apostles in this day’s Gospel is similar to what we see today in our chapter assembly. After seventeen days of intense work, it can be somewhat tedious to continue this arduous path of transformation, and so we exclaim with the disciples, “Master, we have been laboring all night and have caught nothing!” Nevertheless, like the apostles, we put our trust in Jesus’ words and continue to cast our nets. With this certainty, the Chapter assembly embarked on the third and final phase of the General Chapter. Undoubtedly, the Gospel that summons us has more power than the exhausting experience of the hustle and bustle of the days!
With the shared joy of the birthday of our confrere José Enrique Aponte, from the Province of Colombia-Ecuador, we began the morning session with a presentation of the faces of the capitulars. The dynamic, led by Fr. General and motivated by the words of Psalm 138, was born from the desire to strengthen our bonds of fraternity and grow in the empathy that arises when mutual knowledge increases. After evaluating the development of the election phase, which we concluded yesterday, we continued to deepen two of the themes worked on in the pre-Chapter: the intercultural mission and the vacation period.
In the afternoon, the “harvesting of fruits” commission (formerly the editorial commission) presented us with a well-written outline of the work done by the Chapter up to this point. After a quick reading of the text, the chapter hall became a space for debate where, beyond first impressions, there were plenty of comments, ambitious proposals for change and simple tweaks; not to mention the amendment to the text in its entirety. It is clear that there is still much to share and not a little to discern. The last hour of work was led by Rosendo Urrabazo and Pedro Belderrain. Both presented in detail the fundamental content of the ecclesial and congregational protocols for the “Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults”, clarifying doubts on the subject.
The Chapter shared a vision and breathed an atmosphere of discernment. Over and above the diversity of opinions and contrasting visions present in the classroom, the desire to focus on our common goal, which is mission, prevailed. For us, listeners of the Word and servants of the People of God, the experience of the transforming power of the person of Jesus Christ is the axis around which differences are assumed and overcome. And so, the Word of God continues to impel us to be rooted and audacious!