Santa Maria of the Meeting

Publish date 07-05-2023

by Ernesto Olivero

I make no distinction between believers and non-believers, I don't like the word "distant" to define those who do not share the same faith.
Far from whom? Not from the Father, who does not make these differences. If then it is those who call themselves "brothers" who speak of "distant", then I wonder what kind of fraternity we are experiencing. Everyone is a person, beyond their own beliefs, roots, origins and belonging. A person always has something to teach, a world to convey.

If we rely solely on reason to get to know someone, the fruit is judgment. Jesus warns us: do not judge! Judgment is a death trap, it strangles the heart, silences it and kills the person in front of it. Every meeting is an opportunity.
We are all looking for meaning in life, and the ways to get there are endless.

Many years ago I dedicated a book to seekers of meaning, For a barefoot Church. I already had a dream then: an ideal parish, frequented by people of every culture and religion, atheists and doubters. All "close" because this means "parish", "community of neighbors" dedicated to Santa Maria dell'Incontro, open every day of the year at any time. Anyone can come in to enjoy the silence, for an interview, find sharing and closeness.

In the face of a concrete problem, a sick person, a big problem, the tam-tam of solidarity is active in this "parish" with trained, serious and discreet volunteers, the result of ongoing training.
Everything in the parish of the Encounter makes the Presence shine through. Because this is the Church: a Presence to convert to, in which to discover meaning. I play my face.
With a hundred, a thousand "parishes" peace breaks out throughout the world.

Ernesto Olivero
NP May 2023

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