This 2019 is the fourth consecutive year in which the Youth Movement of the Teresian Association, Peru, has celebrated the Passover Youth TA. On this occasion, based on the interests and concerns of the different young people who participate in the group, we called it "In Jesus, WE ARE FREE. Let's be hope."
To be a young believer today
This idea was born during the several conversations around the same topic: how to be a young believer today, what we have to face, and our duties as part of the Catholic community. Nowadays, it is common to be seen as something strange for being young people living our faith without hiding it, because in our society the Catholic religion has been very discredited due to the failures committed within the Church. But we know we are much more than that, so the theme of the Passover started from wanting to motivate others to believe with their heads held high, and at the same time offer the world everything that our faith means with a God of love and hope.
On this occasion, 54 young people between 15 and 24 years old participated, who were accompanied by a group of 11 young adults and 3 adult companions, committed to the development of the project.
Through multiple activities such as: work in small communities, different prayer workshops, community prayers... we wanted to transmit and teach about a more human and free Jesus, with whom they could feel identified. The question we presented was: Free for what...?
Throughout the days, we became aware that in order to humanize this world we need three elements of the utopia of freedom: to be free men and women, to fight against slavery, and to surrender to the truth without imprisoning it. Young people express the desire to be able to believe without feeling judged, labeled as different or rare, to be able to talk about their faith openly.
Jesus, a model of freedom
Therefore, we worked showing them a Jesus who is the "model of free man," who shows us with his life what he believes and defends, being his cross our symbol of wanting to live in truth, resisting and fighting to make this world more just, human and inclusive. Finally, we understood that the limit is the human.
The free person, from a Christian perspective, is the one who loves and ultimately only loves, with a love that is self-giving, real and honest. Committed to liberate starting with his/her own liberation.
As a team of young people, we thank God that through the different Passover Celebrations we have the gift of being bridges so that more young people can discover Jesus, and to know that with Him there are many reasons to be involved in the construction of the Kingdom with our own lives. Once again we renewed our commitment to make Jesus known, generating bonds of fraternity from the Charism of Poveda –a humanizing charisma that by God’s grace, is still incarnated in the new generations, a work in which we want to continue offering our small contribution.
Text: Gabriela Gutiérrez y Deyna Tapia.
Translation: C. Zabalegui and R. Cameron.
Testimonials of some participants
→ “This has been a time of reencounter with Jesus and with myself. Today I want to say "I do not want to lose hope”.♦
→ “In the Passover celebration I learned about the life of Jesus, I understood that he was as human as we were, he had fears, he was a free man and he invites us to exercise our freedom by focusing on our neighbor with deeds and actions, not only with words”.♦
→ “The Passover celebration is giving me a profound experience, one that I had never lived so real. I never thought that coming here I would reflect so seriously about my life... it allowed me to know Jesus better, to recognize him close to us, with searches and struggles. Today I want to follow his way of being in the world”.♦
→ “This Passover celebration has given me a new commitment in my life and a new vision of Jesus. I learned that Jesus was as human as we are... His example teaches us that we all are worth the same, that we should not be silent when the dignity of the person is threatened”.♦
→ “Thanks for what I lived at this Passover celebration: to see the film, to listen to the people of my community... I can say that I want to sow the seed of Jesus in others. His life taught me a different way to love. Now, I'm going to value everything I have and commit myself to my Christian role”.♦
→ “The Passover celebration taught me:
- The cross does not mean only pain. It is a symbol of commitment for everything human. It is resistance, fight and one has to accept them.
- Jesus is the model of a free man. Freedom ends when the freedom of the other begins”.♦
→ “I understood the message of Christ, by dying on the cross. It was not simply to cleanse our sins or the need to show sacrifice. Jesus, on the cross, showed us his conviction towards everything he preached, and that should not be forgotten. Today I feel that my life should be a reflection of everything I believe”.♦