To you my
Share Your Bread
- a simple title depicting significant testimonies of our journey in
Faith with one another. As you already know, Brother Phạm An Nhàn, SJ,
heads this new column for bo, and we hope you will share your journey
with us. For this issue, I was asked to share a part of my journey
that reflects the theme...gathering and belonging.
How have you
been? I hope that exams went well and that summer holds much fun and
rest for you. For Đồng Hành, we are towards the end of preparing for
the GATHERING, which chị Hường had discussed in last issue’s Editor
Letter. This event is remarkable because we will run two tracks for
the whole movement. I look forward to seeing many of you in
Allentown, PA. Of course, I also hope everyone will have some time to
kick back and to reflect upon your daily journey with Christ.
Back in the
summer of 1999, for the first time we held our YOUTH GATHERING in
Kansas City. Now here I am in the same place where we once gathered.
The momentum of belonging to a family in Christ with the youth from
different states and from Canada overwhelms me again. We also want to
hear from our brothers and sisters who are overseas, too. Please come
and sit at our table, share our bread, and be our companions. It is an
awesome experience to come together and to know that WE ARE NOT ALONE
and that WE BELONG in the Đồng Hành Movement, in the spirituality of
St. Ignatius to form a Christian Life Community (CLC).
who attended the Youth Gathering in 1999 shared and experienced their
journey with their local groups. Upon returning to our normal lives,
we asked ourselves, “What more should we do?” And from there, each
group took flight...though at different rates. Some fast, others
slower. Some groups found it hard to keep the motivation and
direction of their group. To struggle is a reality that we cannot
ignore in our lives and even in our group lives. I believe that this
year’s family gathering will somehow respond to our needs and will
strengthen our bonds with Christ and with others. Perhaps, we will
find the motivation and direction which our group needs to “do more.”
Belonging is a
powerful state of mind - of being - for we do not belong to something;
rather, we belong to someone. When we say we belong to someone, that
person naturally has an influence in our lives.
reflecting on our journey, we can see tracks of God’s footprints in
various patterns in our lives. This confirms that He has chosen us to
be His son or His daughter. So yes, we belong in His family in the
same way that St. Paul said, “The body is a unit, though it is made up
of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.
So it is with Christ... Now you are the body of Christ, and each one
of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12. 12. 27).
Choose to be part
of the Body of Christ. Not because of what we have done or how we
have served Him, but simply because He loves us. How then, can I
belong to Him, one may ask. The question may seem simple but the
answer may take us on a long journey.
When I was
younger, I constantly yearned for the answer. I searched for years
and eventually found�surprisingly - that simple questions usually have
simple answers. The answer to my quest was simple: “To feel you belong
to someone you have to take part in the relationship, experience it,
and live it to the max.”
Much like Jesus
during the Last Supper, you must similarly feel eager to belong to a
friend and be part of that relationship as long as you possibly can.
Jesus identifies Himself as bread: TAKING THE BREAD... BREAKING THE
BREAD... GIVING THE BREAD to His disciples, and they, in turn, RECEIVE
THE BREAD...EAT THE BREAD... AND DO IT IN HIS MEMORY. Does this sound
familiar? I hope so because we partake in this “give and receive”
every week when we celebrate the Eucharist at mass.
question and the answer may seem simple in black and white, but in
real life, the journey is never ending. But do not be discouraged
because oftentimes, the answers come not at the end, but during the
journey. At each turn in my life, I always discover something new
and learn to belong with my heart and mind.
Readers of Đồng
Hành, please Share your Bread: take... break.. .give... receive...
eat... and remember. Just a few verbs to help us reflect on and to
prepare for our GATHERING this year.
And so I wait for
each of you to come, to TAKE part in our movement, to BREAK ourselves
for others, to GIVE our testimonies to others, to RECEIVE the gift
from others, to EAT the joy and the struggle, and to REMEMBER that we
belong to one another in this One Body - the Body of Christ.
With all my love