In this month, while we prepare for the celebration of the centre of our faith, the Death and Resurrection of our Saviour, we also celebrate the feast of the Annunciation. Mary is the icon of the carrier of “living water.” She is the one who accepted to give human flesh to our Lord. Yet, She admits her limits, she is aware of her poor human reality, and She accepts the proposal benevolently.
Kindness, listed in the Hymn to Love from the First Letter to the Corinthians, is not a virtue of the weak, but rather of the strong, who are aware of their reality and put themselves at the service of others. It leads to an “activity, a dynamic and creative interaction with others” (AL 93). Kindness helps us to love, to accept the others as they are with their sins and with our aspirations. As WUCWO women we need to exercise this kindness, the fact that we decide to gather is a first step towards this mutual acceptance and benevolence which allow “us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving” (AL 94). All this in complete freedom. “Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man” (GS 17). This is the freedom of WUCWO women.
“Heir to the hope of the righteous in Israel and first among the disciples of Jesus Christ is Mary, his Mother. By her “fiat” to the plan of God's love (cf. Lk 1:38), in the name of all humanity, she accepts in history the One sent by the Father, the Saviour of mankind. In her Magnificat She proclaims the advent of the Mystery of Salvation, the coming of the “Messiah of the poor” (cf. Is 11:4; 61:1). The God of the Covenant, whom the Virgin of Nazareth praises in song as her spirit rejoices, is the One who casts down the mighty from their thrones and raises up the lowly, fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty, scatters the proud and shows mercy to those who fear him (cf. Lk 1:50-53).” (STC 59)
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm.
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat
and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things.
And the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel
as he promised to our forefathers Abraham, and his seed forever.
Servants of God, 40 Martyr Seminarists (Burundi)
April 30, 1997, Buta (Burundi)
On 30 April 1997, 40 young students of the Seminary of Buta (diocese of Bururi), belonging to the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups, were murdered because they did not want to separate from each other. Jolique Rusimbamigera, a student in the Seminary of Buta, though seriously injured, escaped the tragic massacre.
A year later he gave the following testimony: "There were so many, they seemed to me a hundred. They entered our dormitory, that of the three classes of the upper cycle, and fired in the air four times to wake us up.... They immediately began to threaten us and, passing through the beds, they ordered us to divide, hutu on one side and tutsi on the other. They were armed to the teeth: machine guns, grenades, rifles, knives.... But we were still grouped! Then their boss lost his patience and gave the order: "Shoot on these idiots that do not want to divide."
They first shot those under the beds.... While we lay in our blood, we prayed and pleaded for forgiveness for those who killed us. I heard the voices of my companions saying: "Father, forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.” I spoke the same words within me and offered my life in God's hands.”
Amoris Laetitia 93-94
Gaudium et Spes 48-52
Social Teaching of the Church 367