Setting the table of Vincentian Marian Youth Assembly

by | Jul 24, 2015 | News, Vincentian Family, Vincentian Marian Youth

JMV 2015Three inspiring presentations set the table for the opening of  Vincentian Marian Youth Assembly! Here are some highlights…

1. Yasmine Cajuste captured the challenge of the Assembly

Thus, the only gift that we can offer to each and every young man and women, to each and every member of the Association, is the experience of Christ.

We can prepare and facilitate and promote this experience, but in the end, we have no control over that experience. The twists and turns of life and the cross of the gospel reveal in a clear manner that this adventure is, first and foremost, a work of the Holy Spirit who leads people where God wishes, in the manner that God wishes, and where God wishes. This same Spirit gives life to the scriptures, gives meaning to the events of life and allows us to participate in the building up of the Kingdom of God. This means that we are rooted in the Word of God (as seen in the logo) and strengthened by the grace that flows from the cross. We remain open to the world that challenges us and that has placed great hope in us.

Today, the hope of the Association has been placed in our hands.

I say this because during the time of the Assembly we have been given the responsibility of making important decisions for the future of the International Association. Everything can become grace and blessing if we take the time to pray, to listen, to discern and to celebrate. Not only are the members of our Association looking at us but the whole Vincentian Family is doing the same … and we must remember that we, as members of the Vincentian Family, are celebrating the Year of Vincentian Collaboration and will soon celebrate the 400th anniversary of the origin of its charism, a charism that has been passed on to us as a heritage. At the same the universal Church is look at us because we are expected to give witness to God in a manner that the world will understand. Today we are few who have come together in this place but we are many who are dreaming the same dreams. Will you allow yourself to be evangelized? Will you engage in the search for new ways in which we can evangelize others?

2. Parsing the depth of “Evangelized we evangelize”

Maria Molina (President of the VMY in Spain) welcomed all. The following presentation was developed by Sr. Maria Eugenia Gonzalez, Visitatrix of Madrid. She  began  parsing the motto “Evangelized we evangelize” a revealed a framework for further reflection. (This paragraph was updated 7/27)

As members of the Vincentian Marian Youth Association you are called to embrace the gospel from the perspective of your identity, that is, as young men and women, as imitators of Mary and followers of Saint Vincent.

  • Evangelized like the young man in the gospel: As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:17-18).

The young man was restless and sought to find Jesus, therefore, the young man approached Jesus by running toward him. He sought in Jesus someone who would provide him with light to guide his personal life. Jesus reminded him that God alone is good and therefore the young man had to sustain his life by abiding in God’s goodness. In this way Jesus guided the life of young man but from a new and different perspective.

Evangelized as the young man supposes that we go out to meet Jesus, the Teacher … that we go out in order to find meaning in life.

  • Evangelized like Mary: … for nothing will be impossible for God. Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:37-38).

Mary made it possible for God to become visible. Her openness was key. She allowed herself to be animated by the power of the Holy Spirit. She used the word “handmaid” in reference to herself because she realized that her life belonged to God. She also said “be it done to me” because she realized that what had happened in her womb could only be understood as a new creation.

Evangelized as Mary supposes acceptance of the Word in order to incarnate that Word and in order to make God visible.

  • Evangelized like Saint Vincent: He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12:41-44)

This is a very moving passage. When we become accustomed to the world of comfort and well-being, we lose sight of the meaning of compassion and we can no longer identify with the suffering of our brothers and sisters. We can learn some powerful lessons from this woman in the gospel, namely, the lesson of total trust in God and the lesson of infinite generosity. This woman was not looking for honors or prestige and she acted in a silent and humble manner. She knew how to give all because she herself had experienced need and was able to understand the needs of others.

Evangelized as Saint Vincent means that we are willing to learn from the poor.

“I would like to conclude with the words that Saint Paul addressed to Timothy: Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity … Do not neglect the gift you have (1 Timothy 4:12, 14).”

3. Finally, Yasmine, on behalf of the international committee,  pointed to all that had been done in the five years since the last Assembly… truly remarkable in what was accomplished.

Laguna  JMV


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