Let us switch from “the others” to “us”
If we listen to Jesus, who, in his spiritual testament during the Last Supper, implored aloud: “May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me” (Jn 17:21), we will welcome into our souls what Pope Francis is recently always repeating to us: "no one is saved alone," which is a certain echo of that plea of Our Lord.
While reading the first chapter of the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, I asked myself this question: Why, instead of demanding what “the others” have to do, don’t we ask ourselves what “we” should do for the sake of them? It came to me as a result of these prophetic expressions: “Once this health crisis passes […] God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of “them” and “those”, but only “us”. […] Unless we recover the shared passion to create a community of belonging and solidarity worthy of our time, our energy and our resources, the global illusion that misled us will collapse and leave many in the grip of anguish and emptiness. […] The notion of “every man for himself” will rapidly degenerate into a free-for-all that would prove worse than any pandemic.” (FT 35-36).
I confess that little by little, throughout these two years as President, Jesus, hand in hand with Mary, has been creating in my heart a kind of “antenna” that every day seeks to capture those WUCWO organisations that are most in need. Today, for example, as I was saying my morning prayer, the organisations in Cameroon came spontaneously to my heart because of the massacre of children in Kumba, in which eight children were killed and twelve were wounded with machetes and gunshots by a group of armed men; this massacre has its roots in the conflictive relations between the French-speaking majority and the English-speaking minority in that country. The organisations in France also came to my mind, for they are in a nation that suffers from the scourge of hatred among some of its inhabitants and was the victim of the recent savage attack inside a Catholic church, in which innocent people were wounded and their throats slit. How can we not pray and accompany these organisations and their members in the face of such suffering?
I am convinced that the parable of the Good Samaritan, through which the Pope organises the second chapter of Fratelli Tutti, is a spotlight that illuminates the solidarity to which WUCWO organisations are called among themselves. Therefore, I propose that we apply the words of Jesus in our organisation: “Whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4:20). Each of our organisations has something to give to the others and something to receive from them. Please let us intensify our solidarity links within the network that unites WUCWO members, between the “sister organizations” whom we “see”.
It is with sincere affection that I say goodbye to all of you and, paraphrasing the quotation from Blessed Charles de Foucauld offered to us by the Holy Father at the end of his encyclical, I ask you a personal favour: “Pray for me that I truly be the sister of all WUCWO organisations and their members”. Thank you very much.
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO President General
A Prayer to the Creator
Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war.
May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen. (FT 287)