Here we go...

Publish date 08-06-2021

by Rosanna Tabasso

Last February 1st we remembered the first 25 years of presence in Brazil, the departure of three of us and the start of the Arsenale della Speranza.

We were few and three left, we had never been out of our land and crossed the ocean, we were not prepared, we still did not know the language and yet something prompted us to say yes and to leave, on the trust that God would guide us. Dom Luciano Mendes had helped us to understand the urgency of being missionaries, he was missionary in every fiber of his being and he knew how to communicate the passion of going in the name of God. After that first yes, after that first "let's go" was born our Rule with a page dedicated to the mission of the Fraternity: "We go because the Lord has chosen to send us to love him, convinced that, in us, he shines through and evangelizes". Few words summarize what drives us. Not expansionist aims, not social programs or religious proselytizing, but the strong need to answer "yes" to God and to his heartfelt concern to reach all his children, so we also heard for ourselves the word addressed to the prophet Isaiah (6, 8): "I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who will I send and who will go for us?". And I answered: «Here I am, send me!».

God continues to look for friends to send in his name because he cares about the lost people of this time, the loss of meaning that is spreading among young and old, families and lonely people. He cares about those who have lost their jobs and no longer have prospects like those who have known nothing in his life but war and underdevelopment, violence and hunger. It worries about everyone who no longer finds reasons to face the fatigue of everyday life, those who no longer find reason to hope, those who do not accept the precariousness of every human being on this earth, those who no longer have their gaze projected towards the eternity and towards life forever that Jesus came to announce. God takes care (cf. Zc 8:15) of each one and, always respecting the freedom of the human race, wants everyone to be reached by his promise, to know that he is not alone, to be able to face trials and adversities of this life with confidence knowing to be in "forever" with him.

God continues to need people and small communities of fraternal life who have experienced him and announce him, as Ernesto recently wrote to us: "I believe that each of us must feel the desire to communicate his intimate certainty, the impetus , the passion to make everyone aware of Jesus, the center of life ». (...) The personal experience of God combined with the credibility of each of us makes our lives speak of him, our ideas and our words also open paths for others, without contrast between life and word, because one supports the other one".

The last time we were able to speak with Dom Luciano, a few months before his death, was 11 March 2006 and it was the tenth anniversary of the Arsenale della Speranza, he communicated his missionary passion to us. I remember his words: you have the charisma of hope, you have the spirituality of the Presence, you have a consolidated method, you are balanced people… if you don't go who will go? Then looking around, moved by the beauty of the Arsenal of Hope, he commented: it is nice to be many and to be united to pray, to think, to live fraternity but look at what marvel you have done here, in three! We have all thought about the mandate of Jesus: «Go ...». A "go" that, however, keeps us well rooted in God and well anchored in fraternity, careful to keep the taste of the salt because "if even the salt loses its flavor, with what will it be salted?" (Lk 14:34). A go to give back to people and to our world the vision that God has of the person, of life, of society, of history, of creation.

Ernesto reminds us: "Only from God who" makes all things new "(Ap 21,5) can a new mentality descend which radically changes our outlook on things, a new style to reconvert our personal lives, society, world, the course of history, a mentality that passes from I to us ». The first "we" is the Fraternity, the common root of which we must feel part of wherever we are. This is why in the mission, contained in our very name - Youth Missionary Service - we always go as a fraternity. United by a single root and at the same time dispersed like yeast in the dough, small flames of light, small fires lit to illuminate and warm those who seek hope. Today, rethinking our presence in Brazil helps us once again to renew the yes to going with our hearts and minds open to what opens up before us.

Rosanna Tabasso
NP February 2021

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