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Eucharist nourishes us for mission, our apostolate with the youth

 

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10/11/2008: Mozambique

 

hspace=5The Eucharist nourishes us and energizes us for mission and brings effectiveness in our efforts. I traveled to several communities of our Brothers in Malawi. One thing that struck me very much was the Brothers availability at the Holy Eucharist celebration with the lay faithful colleagues and some students in school uniforms. I can tell with more precise of Charles Lwanga and Likuni communities. I saw that brothers are extremely busy and sometimes their commitments could justify their missing Mass but to my surprise all had Mass at the very centre of their Apostolate. If there is today a better teaching that can leave a lasting impression on our students today, l see that, it is that of the participation in the celebration of the sacrament of Universal Communion made concrete in the Eucharistic celebration. I saw that the Brothers do not participate in an active way in the parish pastoral activities but join in this Summit celebration where divisions of status quos are broken.

Our regalia may struck other Christians who have no clue of who we are. Once we know we are mispresented, we should stand up and tell the congregation that we are Brothers. Our term is confusing because seminarians too before ordination are known as Brothers especially where l come from, Malawi. Although the situation is like this, we should not compromise our title. I think we should be Brothers to those without brothers to give them a sense of familihood and a sense of belonging. More and more in the future our life will be going towards the direction of being mentors. Offices of Guidance and Counselling will be full of Brothers. We shall be like a male role model and an elder among the youth who are most destitute. We shall be the only available males who can listen to their stories. I noticed that very few people are ready to listen to the youth version of the stories. There is an adage which is slowly becoming popular that youth should be seen but not heard. As they are not heard, at times they turn violent and wildly break school properties. I heard many stories in Malawi where youth turned wild and broke properties. I concluded from this that youth need to be heard and not just to be seen. A Brother too has to be a hidden Jesus on the Emmaus story scenerio. We have to break the Eucharist story to the desperate youth. I will give you an example.One day l saw Brother Dickson calming the heat of anger among the Charles Lwanga students when one student died in the school. He just graduated from mic and his first assignment was there. They were ready to destroy the Montfort Fathers property but when he reasoned with them, they left their dangerous weapons, evil intentions and things were okey. We can prevent big things by listening to the youth and hearing their version of the story but many feel too busy to listen to the youth or have sometime for them. In Chichewa we say, ‘ Akulu, akulu ndi mdambo muzimira moto’ literally meaning, elders are water reservoirs that cool down wild fire. What Dickson did prevented bad channeling of students anger.

Brother Alexander Manyengo too helped a lot when Mr. Thole was the Headmaster of Charles Lwanga. He recalls his interventions even now and he has a very high esteem of Manyengo because of the that. When we approach Mary, she always reminds us, ‘ Listen to what he tells you.’ Jesus that we receive will encourage us to listen to the people we evangelize to turn them into Good News and they will run back to their local Jerusalems and tell their peers of the same Good News we have told them. The question that l ask myself is this, ‘ Do l have time to listen to youth? Do l have time to walk with them and listen their stories of despair? Do l break to them the Eucharist l receive to empower them to be Good News to others?’

They recognized Jesus after the breaking of the bread and their hearts burned. Are we ready to burn the youth with the Good News after being empowered by Jesus. We should not be too much absorbed in making ourselves known but in being instruments of Good News to our numerous students so that we can multiply apostles of Good News. So the Eucharist l repeat can energize us. Happy Christmas Holidays to all of your our Brothers involved in the school active apostolates. May this Christmas turn us all into apostles who listen to the youth entrusted to us in our schools. God bless.

Simeon Banda, Matola, Mozambique

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