Wednesday, 06 April 2016 00:00

The spirit of a Prophet, with a special flavor, in Jaén

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JAÉN, Spain.
The film POVEDA continues to be shown in several theaters in Spain. Participants of the Rajab Project, promoted by the Teresian Association to welcome Immigrants in Jaén, relate their experience.

A group of more than 50 people, all immigrants involved in the Rajab Project, were fortunate to attend the screening of the film Poveda. Those of us who know Spanish tried to understand the dialogues. Some of the volunteers also attended. We went to see the movie with excitement and anticipation.

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Through the film we saw in the life of Pedro Poveda a standing invitation to discernment, so necessary to provide creative responses and solutions to problems and new challenges we face in our evangelization efforts.

We recognized an example of courage to face the changes that reality demands of our training, as well as the challenges required by our being Christian, to never be satisfied with the "already known," "business as usual," and mediocrity.

We saw in Poveda this concern during the years of Guadix and his commitment to the formation of each person. His study and meditation in Covadonga, with his appreciation and empowerment of women, as well as his creating new paths in the Church, moved us. 

Another aspect that we appreciated is the value of honesty and belief in the "Good Idea" that sustained his own convictions against the resistance and contradictions of others, both inside and outside. The demanding and living call from his faith as inseparable from the promotion of justice, with the invitation throughout his life to put the poor at the center of his heart and his mission. First in Guadix, then with the intention of creating a home for "street children" in Madrid, and at the end of his life with his participation in the Hermandad del Refugio. The film brought us closer to a person who is relevant today and invited us to continue committing ourselves.

It is exciting to think about Poveda and his ability to build bridges, to prefer dialogue to confrontation.  This applies to family and gender issues as well as to economic matters, politics and culture.

At times, with eyes clouded by emotion and looking at others watching the film in a hall filled with people from Jaén enjoying the company of a group of Pakistanis, Senegalese, Moroccans, Algerians, Malians, made us all realize the need to continue the work of Poveda. 

Going from the wall to the bridge as we face tragedies

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Today any reference to walls is particularly urgent and serious before the tragedy of refugees and migrants who leave their countries in search of better living conditions in Europe, and they are facing real walls that close them off.

Building bridges and not walls means, in the words of our brother Pope Francis, "generating not hostility but hospitality, not exclusion but inclusion, not rejection but welcoming, not xenophobia, but acceptance of differences." This applies both to Lampedusa and to Jaen or any of our Spanish and European cities, where we face daily the trampling over the most basic human rights and the dignity of the human person.

Going from a wall to a bridge implies a profound change of attitude, a deep conversion. It has a great positive impact on all dimensions of life; it leads us to overcome all racism, all economic, political, cultural, and religious arrogance.

At different moments the film depicted a change of attitude, of meekness, generating union among all. These are attitudes of a prophet like Poveda.

Mercy brings the heart closer to the misery of another, to the tens of thousands of victims humiliated by countless violations of their human dignity and rights. Pedro Poveda, an apostle of Mercy, shows us in this film how to be merciful. He does not ignore reality, but with respect and touched by the pain caused by the abandonment of another, he wants to make his contribution, his project of Light.

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Immigrants and volunteers of the Rajab Project came out very moved. A Moroccan Muslim girl said addressing the volunteers: "Now I understand what you do in Rajab." It touched our soul. The words coming from this girl clouded our eyes with emotion. Somehow we continue attending to another scene in the movie, the one that each member of the Teresian Association  continues to build in our various fields of Mission.

It is time to turn on lights in the dark; it is time to keep dreaming His Idea.

It is time for PROPHECY. Its our time.

Rajab Project- ASC Poveda

 

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