Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Go beyond: it is Easter

Butembo 09.03.2024 Gian Paolo Pezzi, mccj Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

A thought for you and best wishes for this Easter 2024

William Shakespeare said, The only thing that has no answer is death. Jesus, a marginal and marginalised Jew, showed us that even death has an answer in the Passover, for it is the Lord's "pesah", the "going beyond" no longer sparing his people and killing the enemy, but giving each one the power of the Spirit to "go beyond", to give "one step more" in spite of everything. Then it is Easter. 

In these months, I had two steps "of going beyond".

Despite the difficulties, the Initiative for Peace and the Common Good has begun to take shape. The space in the Clergy’s Common House, even though it has yet to be   completed while waiting for the last promised help, is already able to accommodate the training initiatives. A draft of the Justice and Peace training programme, which will begin for clergy and religious, has been presented to our Bishop. Not only that.

The Manifesto of our Initiative indicated in the actions decided and implemented in unity, the only true path to an ethical and civic revolution capable of leading to peace. To give shape and show that the will and ability to work together is possible and necessary, the idea of a joint action for the prisoners’ good of the central prison of Butembo, Kakwangura, was implemented. There are about 1,000 prisoners there, for whom the state takes absolutely no care.

Since long ago, groups of different religious denominations and human solidarity have tried to fill this void by bringing food, clothes, medicine, and legal assistance. However, regrettable situations have also arisen: on feast days or on significant dates, such as Christmas, Women's Day, Independence Day, prisons are crowded with people of good will with their gifts; then for long periods there is a vacuum or sporadic or even, due to the scarcity of aid, exclusive assistance. There have been cases of starvation. Through meetings, it has been possible to involve all the churches and civil organisations in an annual plan of assistance to prisoners.

Thanks to a message from a person dear to me since Burundi, an idea, which had been maturing in the back of my mind, has taken shape for 'one step further', a 'going beyond'. She writes to me, “your remark to die on a mission is a romantic dream but not very Christian because the consequences often fall on others caused me a good-natured smile". And she adds: “You are quite right... and it is valid in all those contexts characterised by fragility, unexpected events, loss, precariousness”.

Losses, among them death, only frightens those who refuse to die a little every day in order to live more intensely. After all, who is a Christian if not a pagan on the road to conversion? In reality, "until the very end, there remain in us zones of unbelief whose discovery sometimes surprises us" (Roger Schutz). And the radical event that precedes every resurrection is then rejected until it happens suddenly.

Then a few evenings ago I had a nice conversation. A person with whom I have shared exciting moments of Christian life, of professional work, of apostolate in Esmeraldas (Ecuador), confided to me his serenity in waiting for the outcome of a lung biopsy for multiple signs of cancer. And this confirmed my intention. 

In Spanish they say 'despedirse' which is a bit like saying goodbye, a bit like seeing you again to someone, always carrying them in your heart by going away.

I had to sort out the private things and, in a couple of cases, send news of companions’ death to a list of strangers. I think it is better, therefore, that it is I myself who take leave, to 'despedirme' precisely, as far as possible, from all people with whom I have shared at least in part my life and my mission. It is an opportunity also for clarification, for feeling again the joy without nostalgia of the happy, exciting, affectionate moments shared, and perhaps for reconciliation. Kahlil Gibran wrote: 'If we were confessing our sins to each other, we would laugh at our total lack of originality'.

The saying goes, 'To get something you never got, you have to do something you never did'. This is the opportunity.

Let's be clear. In April, I’ll return to Italy for the usual holiday period, which also serves to renew my passport, driving licence, and identity card. I did the 'legal' checks for octogenarians as I am here locally. To the doctor who was reading me the results in his technical, somewhat pompous language, I asked: "In short, should I start preparing my funeral?" He replied good-naturedly: "Not really, I'm sorry, you'll have to wait a while longer!".

 Here, I am in good shape and this group letter, which is also a bit of a farewell, will continue to come to you two or three times a year telling you how much I live and do. A wise man wrote: In those days there was a flood of water and Noah and his family were saved. In our days there is another flood, the flood of words; and from that no one is saved. But sooner or later the day of silence will come and it will announce to you that a farewell has now truly become To God.

Happy Easter to you and your loved ones.

jampypezzi@gmail.com – WhatsApp +39 328 732 6990 – www.jpic-jp.org

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