What does Easter mean to me? If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be REBIRTH. I'll try to explain it.
I did not arrive at Easter being the most Catholic. I arrived doubtful about the God in whom I believed. I wanted the objective of this experience to be seeking this God once more, and ask Him where He was. This search, fortunately, I did not experience alone; I lived it with young people like me, friends, as well as with strangers, with whom I had more in common than I expected, people with doubts. People who probably also have more in common with all of you than you expect.
The theme of this Easter was "Ask yourself, dare to follow him"; and many of us came questioning our faith and the God in whom we believed, but we tried to answer those questions, we did not tire of seeking our God. The God of Jesus.
This is why I summarize this Easter as REBIRTH. My faith, confused and resigned, was reborn with great force. This Easter taught me that it is worth seeking, it is worth answering those doubts.
Mateo Montoya, participant at the Easter experience
Change the world
A few weeks ago, I took the risk of enrolling in the Easter experience with the desire to find a new meaning to this "holy week," which had lost its true meaning. During the encounter, I found myself and the God in whom I believe, a God who loves us all, who can forgive us even when we cannot forgive ourselves, a God who shares with us. He is present with us and is divine and human. I am grateful for that experience that renewed my motivation, which made me question myself and want to share my faith and his message with all of you. I feel like I have filled myself with that God again, when I met other young believers who showed me how alive faith is and gave me hope to know that we are not alone.
From this Easter I take home the great love God gives us. And I ask myself: What do we do to thank Him? And what do we do for our life to be authentic? We must question ourselves and know that we are invited. Let us change the world; this is neither craziness nor utopia but justice.
Micaela León, participant at the Easter experience
The charism of the Teresian Association
I lived the Easter experience as part of TA Youth and not as an adult facilitator. Therefore, I did not follow very closely the personal processes of the young people who participated in this one. However, the charism of the Teresian Association calls us to be open and close to those in need. This, clearly, took me out of my expectations and led me to get involved in the talks and, even more, in moments of closeness with the participants themselves, to meet young people who want to meet a friendly, close, human God.
This experience feeds the flame with which we began to dream a few years ago. This flame is renewed through every person I see who finds in the Teresian Association a space for reflection, trust, and friendship. I have always been pleased by the fact that we are recognized as being an interdisciplinary group, each one with different characteristics who contributes to the whole. What I take with me and value most about us is our desire to change things, to transform, to want others to see life as we do. Thanks to TA Youth members for wanting to "complicate" life, to be questioned at every opportunity and if there is something to do or renew, do it.
Paulo Urbina, MIT Youth Team Member
The TA Youth from Peru celebrated Easter together in 2016. Throughout the year about 21 young people met regularly. Today we are a community of faith, made up of young people who are in the initial stage of formation. This small group is consolidating our Christian commitment, the bonds of fraternity and commitment to the movement and identity of the Teresian Association.
The organizing group met in November to reflect on issues of concern in the cultural contexts where young people hang out: We recognized with concern how some young people exercise their freedom against their own dignity or that of others. This is reflected in a certain hedonism, in superficial relationships incapable of accepting others and their differences. Also in relativism: fleeting romances, inability to dominate pleasures such as drinking or consumption. This sometimes leads us to an individualistic life, with little sensitivity to the realities of pain and suffering around us.
This challenged us to seek the real image of the God in whom we believe: tender and loving, compassionate and merciful, patient and understanding, respectful of each person and passionate about life and the human. We asked ourselves: What image of Jesus do young people have today? Does the God in whom they believe distract them from the God of Jesus? Following this reflection and after several meetings we arrived at the theme for this Easter experience: "Ask yourself, dare to follow him."
The organizing team appreciated what was experienced during the Paschal Triduum: we were with 60 young people who dared to live this experience, supported by 10 people (community companions and team members). There was space for reflection in groups, a talk about the sense of resurrection-resistance in daily life, workshops on bio-dance, mandalas and prayer using the body, in addition to the liturgy. We sang to the Jesus of life, we danced and celebrated that we continue to dream with men and women who keep hope alive.
With the desire to follow a path of daring to think, feel and act like Jesus, we say goodbye to this Easter with a renewed Christian commitment, with the certainty that everything lived, shared and accomplished comes from the one who inspires each of our dreams. And together we say:
THANK YOU, Lord, for all the young people who were part of the Easter experience. Thank you because in them we can find those young people who are not afraid to face life and resurrect with the Jesus of life. THANK YOU, because this Easter led us to question; to ask more questions about our faith and to ask about those comforts that keep us away from our brothers and sisters.
THANK YOU, Lord, for the Teresian Association, for believing in young people, hope of the world. "
Text: Paulo Urbina,
Team member of the Easter experience, TA Youth, Perú.