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Resources for

THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

and throughout the year 2015

Jesus said to her: "Give me to drink"

(John 4:7)

19-Monday

BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS FOR THE EIGHT DAYS


DAY 2

DENUNCIATION I

Tired of the journey, Jesus sat down facing the well (John 4:6)

Genesis 29:1-14

Jacob and Rachel at the well

Psalms 137

How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Each one of you says, "I am for Paul," or "I am for Apollos"

John 4:5-6

Jesus was tired out by his journey

Commentary

Jesus had been in Judea before his encounter with the Samaritan woman. The Pharisees had begun to spread the word that Jesus baptized more disciples than John. Perhaps this rumour has caused some tension and discomfort. Perhaps it is the reason behind Jesus’ decision to leave.

Arriving at the well, Jesus decides to stop. He was tired from his journey. His fatigue could also be related to the rumours. While he was resting, a Samaritan woman came near the well to fetch water. This meeting took place at Jacob’s well: a symbolic place in the life and spirituality of the people of the Bible.

A dialogue begins between the Samaritan woman and Jesus about the place of worship. "Is it on this mountain or in Jerusalem?" asks the Samaritan woman. Jesus answers, "neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him" (Jn 4: 21- 24).

It still happens that instead of a common search for unity, competition and dispute mark the relations between the churches. This has been the experience of Brazil in recent years. Communities extol their own virtues and the benefits that accrue to their adherents in order to attract new members. Some think that the bigger the church, the larger its number of members, the greater its power, the closer they are to God, presenting themselves as the only true worshippers. As a result there has been violence and disrespect to other religions and traditions. This type of competitive marketing creates both distrust between the churches and a lack of credibility in society towards Christianity as a whole. As competition grows the "other" community becomes the enemy.

Who are the true worshippers? True worshippers do not allow the logic of competition – who is better and who is worse – to infect faith. We need "wells" to lean upon, to rest and let go of disputes, competition and violence, places where we can learn that true worshippers worship "in Spirit and in Truth."

Questions

  1. What are the main reasons for competition among our churches?

  2. Are we able to identify a common "well" upon which we can lean, and rest from our disputes and competitions ?

Prayer

Gracious God,

Often our churches are led to choose the logic of competition.

Forgive our sin of presumption.

We are weary from this need to be first. Allow us to rest at the well.

Refresh us with the water of unity drawn from our common prayer.

May your Spirit who hovered over the waters of chaos bring unity from our diversity.

Amen.



 

Resources for

THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

and throughout the year 2015

Jesus said to her: "Give me to drink"

(John 4:7)

18-Sunday1st

BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS FOR THE EIGHT DAYS

DAY 1

PROCLAMATION

It is necessary to go through Samaria (John 4:4)

Genesis 24:10-33

Abraham and Rebekah at the well

Psalm 42

The deer that longs for running streams

2 Corinthians 8:1-7

The generosity of the churches of Macedonia

John 4:1-4

He had to go through Samaria

Commentary

Jesus and his disciples travelled from Judea to Galilee. Samaria is between these two areas. There was a certain prejudice against Samaria and the Samaritans. The negative reputation of Samaria came from its mix of races and religions. It was not uncommon to use alternative routes to avoid stepping into Samaritan territory.

What does the Gospel of John mean, then, when saying, "it is necessary to go through Samaria"? More than a geographical issue, it is a choice of Jesus: "going through Samaria" means that it is necessary to meet the other, the different, the one who is often seen as a threat.

The conflict between Jews and Samaritans was old. Samaritan predecessors had broken with the monarchy of the south which required the centralization of the worship in Jerusalem (1 Kings 12). Later, when the Assyrians invaded Samaria deporting many of the local population, they brought to the territory a number of foreign peoples, each with their own gods or deities (2 Kings 17:24-34). For Jews, Samaritans became a people "mixed and impure". Later in John’s Gospel, the Jews, wanting to discredit Jesus, accuse him saying, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?" (Jn 8:48).

Samaritans in their turn, also had difficulty accepting Jews (Jn 4:8). The hurt of the past became even greater when, around 128 BC, the Jewish leader, John Hyrcanus, destroyed the temple built by Samaritans as their place of worship on Mount Gerizin. On at least one occasion, reported in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was not received in a Samaritan city simply because he was on his way to Judea (Lk 9:52). So resistance to dialogue came from the two sides.

John makes it clear that "going through Samaria" is a choice Jesus is making; he is reaching beyond his own people. In this he is showing us that isolating ourselves from those who are different and relating only to people like ourselves is a self-inflicted impoverishment. It is the dialogue with those who are different that makes us grow.

Questions

  1. What does it mean for me and for my community of faith "to have to go through Samaria?"

  2. What are the steps that my church has made to meet other churches and what have the churches learnt from each other?

Prayer

God of all peoples,

teach us to go through Samaria to meet our brothers and sisters from other churches.

Allow us to go there with an open heart

so we may learn from every church and culture.

We confess that you are the source of unity.

Grant us the unity that Christ wills for us.

Amen.

 
Report of the annual meeting of the International Commission of IDYM - 2015
IDYM

After a year of frequent online meetings, the International Commission of IDYM (Dani, José Alberto, Leonardo, Lyamar, Sean and fr Rui) gathered again at Santa Sabina, Rome. Since our last meeting in Rome, time has passed, some goals have been achieved, others are yet to be achieved but we are fully aware of what lies ahead of us. Largely, it has been a year of learning for us but we have also managed to get some things done while gearing up to do more next year.

One of our main tasks for which the entire Order is also preparing is the programme of activities for the Jubilee of the Order in 2016. For the celebration, we plan to have series of activities together. Our final proposal which we hope will not undergo any further changes is as follows:


International Meeting: This will take place in Toulouse (France) from 14 to 17 July 2016. This is the place where the Order was founded and where it took its first missionary steps. We want to use the Jubilee to return to the basics and build momentum for the future. We invite you all to start preparing for this meeting. It promises to be a defining moment for us.


International Assembly: This will immediately follow the international meeting until 21 July at the same venue.

World Youth Day 2016: This will take place from 26 to 31 July 2016 at Krakow, Poland. We are currently working with those on the ground there to develop a suitable unique programme that will allow us to celebrate this gathering of young Catholics as a Dominican family. We are still working on the programme, it will be disseminated as soon as it is ready.

In the other part of the meeting, we reviewed what we have done in our respective offices and also in our contacts with different groups in different countries.


Mission

Our mission work has been intense and not always easy. After several attempts to prepare an international mission work for the movement without much success, we have managed to prepare a mission experience for next year. This will be in July in Paraguay and it is open to participants from different countries. We will continue to work to strengthen our mission areas in all countries and try to develop more joint mission works at different levels. We will continue to devote the month of October to mission.


Communication

We ask you to help us by sending us your mission experiences and/or national voluntary activities and any other activities you are undertaking. Do make use of any of our communication channels to share with us and other movements in other countries. We have “Whatsapp” groups according to geographical areas and languages. We will further strengthen our team of translators and we invite you to participate.


Formation

In the area of formation, we have come a long way and its slowing bearing fruits. We have already published some formation themes and we will continue to publish more, even more interesting ones. We have almost finished working on the proposed Formation programme. Thanks to DOMUNI for offering its platform and its contents and making them available to individual members and groups of the movement in different places and languages.

Regional Integration

Concerning the question that was raised at the last Assembly at Bogota about development at regional levels, we recall the steps that have been taken in Africa with the meeting held in Nigeria. Now, our desire is to support and strengthen their work. We are preparing for a regional meeting in Latin America for next year and we are also looking forward to Asia and Europe afterwards.


Advisor

We have made some advancement in the development of a guideline for the Advisor of the movement which will comprise; friars, sisters and laity. This was one of the concerns raised at the last Assembly. The roles and function of the consultants still needs to be properly defined considering past experiences. We hope to come up with something before next summer.


Lay Fraternities

We are making moves to have greater collaborations with the lay fraternities for better mutual understanding. It will be helpful for both groups (youth movements and lay fraternities) to meet occasionally by inviting each other to local meetings and activities.


Meetings with the Curia

Firstly, we want to thank our host, fr Bruno Cadoré who grants us the opportunity to meet at the convent of Santa Sabina. This is certainly a great help to our work in the International Commission. Our stay at the convent affords us the opportunity to meet with the friars who are working in the Curia and during many spontaneous conversations, we get a better understanding of the Order and its diversities in different parts of the world. This year, we also had the opportunity to share with fr Bruno and we took that advantage to have a “Thanksgiving” dinner with him since Sean and Lyamar who are from the US are with us. During our meeting with him, we explained our work and some of the difficulties we are encountering. After listening to us, he advised us and shared some practical ideas with us. Once again we thank him for his confidence and support for young people in the Order.

We also had the opportunity to meet with Sr Marie Therese Clement, the International Coordinator of the Dominican Sisters International. It was a fraternal discussion which helped us to understand better the operations of DSI and discover some areas of future collaborations. In our discussion with fr Michael Deeb (the Delegate of the Order to the UN and the General Promoter for Justice and Peace), he explained his duties as delegate and promoter and the various ways the youths of the Order can get involved in the issues of Justice and Peace. We thank Sr Celestina Veloso Freitas (Promoter for Justice and Peace for DSI) for allowing us to use her work space for our meetings. Finally, we thank fr Gustavo Gutiérrez for the time we shared with him. This was a once in a life time opportunity, one you can only get spontaneously in a place like Santa Sabina.

As we conclude this year’s meeting, we ask for your prayers for all youth groups in the Order and for the International Commission so that we may take the appropriate steps to continue to transmit Jesus message of love in our present daily reality.

(15 December 2014)

- See more at: http://op.org/en/content/idym-international-commission-year-working-together

 

1

A kid then, I joined an extemporaneous speaking event in our school. The topic said “The Best Christmas Gift to the World.” For a couple of minutes, I answered “knowledge.” I told the panel how I had been helping our housemaid understand English.

Unfortunately, that was not enough for a medal. The other girl, who answered “chocolates” because they were her favorite, won. “What a proud kid!” they must have thought of me.

Today, I am a volunteer professor in one of the Dominican Sisters Institute’s mission schools, the Holy Rosary College Foundation, founded by Fr. Anthony Leo Hofstee, OP. I am handling three general education subjects. This volunteer work has received mixed responses from my family and friends. My father thought it was too far from home or from anywhere I have ever been to. My classmates from college are encouraging me to get a “real” teaching job. Some friends think that it is a waste of time and effort.
My Dominican Family is of course proud and supportive. Long jeepney rides to my destination may be tough but I still feel joy and eagerness in every meeting with my students.

We all have heard that through giving, we are the ones who are actually receiving. I have given many things in my entire life and I know the satisfaction it can give you but I have never experienced what I am experiencing now in teaching. Each day I see them, I feel that it is I who is learning. Every time a student raises his hand to ask a question or to simply voice his opinions, it is I who is smiling at the back of my head.

3

Whenever they look at me smiling, while I blabber a historical, political, or scientific fact or simply throw them mindboggling philosophical questions, it is my heart and spirit that is overflowing with happiness. In fact, I am sometimes distressed, wondering if I am giving enough to deserve all the life lessons they are teaching me. And every day, I work hard to make sure that they get the best out of me. Hopefully, I also bring out the best in them.

After years of studying in Dominican institutions, reading Philosophy, and continuous exposure to the Dominican ideals through the DOMNET Youth Group, I cannot help but wish that I may go back in time and give that speech contest one more try. I will tell my judges the same answer and I will defend it tall and proud. The best gift is still “knowledge.” I will tell them teaching is more than just a career. It is a person, giving herself to another, mindless of her own limitations and exhaustion.

It is not what is given that is most important, rather it is the act of giving perceived not as a loss but as a fulfilling event in one’s life. Sharing to others a part of you, especially to those who need and want it, is the most beautiful gift that I know of.

Some people think that almsgiving is the best and easiest way to help others. It might be the most convenient for the one giving the alms, but I hope that the world knows that it is not the only way. You are a gift, a gift that only increases in value every time it is given. Be the gift that you are and surprise others and let others surprise you too. Do not be afraid that you will lose yourself or that there is not enough you. Let God be your source and you will never run out of faith, hope, and love to give.

Venus, DOMNET, Philippines 



 

1014418 1569280653293434 3053035281791354866 nMy name is Rafael de Oliveira Souza, I'm from São Paulo (SP), I am 27 years and I specialize in journalism. My life as a Dominican actually began before being Dominican. Seems confusing, but I'll explain. I entered the charism in 2004 in the parish church where I grew up. For five years, together with my friends from church, I lived the Vincentian and Jesuit charism more intensely. In 2009, I had the opportunity to meet the Dominican family, and from that meeting, it helped me encounter the Dominican Youth Movement of Brazil (MJD-BR). I took a hiatus from 2010 until late 2012, from sharing in the church - but they were still learning years.

Well, the purpose of this introduction is to show that the path leading up to meeting the Order of Preachers allowed me to become a lay Dominican. And how nice that all these experiences have led me to the Dominicans, because this union of "living things" brought me to the Tocantins, Northern Brazil to work on the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) and enjoy a completely and truly different experience than what was experienced in the state capital.

The CPT was introduced to me in September 2013, during the Meeting of Justice and Peace of the Dominican Family in Goiânia (GO). There I met with Brother Xavier Plassat, OP. When he learned of my desire to breathe fresh air away from São Paulo, Xavier almost immediately invited me to "an experience of a few days" in those parts. This experience has spanned eight months - and why couldn’t I stop thinking about it?

Thus, from January 2014 I began work as a pastoral worker. The mission of the CPT,  summed up in a few words, is to follow - either in training or legal framework - peasant communities (as) fighting for a land or internal security. We still have a commission in most states, which operates in the prevention and the fight against modern slavery. In a scenario like this, where we walked straight into the exploitation of large landowners and agribusiness, moments of conflict and tension are common. Not infrequently, farmers and tillers are threatened with death or have their homes and crops destroyed by squatters.

Constantly CPT agents, visit the rural workers in the settlements, camps and occupations. I dare say it's more rewarding to be able to live in the place that the people of this land live. That is, networks sleep in the thatched hut without electricity, eating a chicken with rice, pumpkin and vegetables planted by the farmers themselves. But above all, in practice we realize that farmers can themselves be protagonists of their stories, simply give them the chance can allow this to happen.

Although my journey as a missionary is only beginning, I see no other way to live, but to live authentically. The inspiration for working with little to be renewed in the examples of the martyrs, like Father Josimo, Frei Tito, extractive couple Claudio and Maria, farmer Gabriel Hijo and many others. And always keep in mind and heart the warning made by a great friend, not to do this mission work to be good or a better person, but because the goal is Christ!

 

1014418 1569280653293434 3053035281791354866 nIn October, we wanted to offer something new to the Dominican Youth Movement. Unlike in the past, when each group developed their work independently following the charism of Saint Dominic, this year, the IDYM International Commission is inviting us to create a link among its members via a specific activity during the year.


October is the month of mission and we have therefore chosen this moment to live more deeply the "Dominican compassion" through volunteer activities.


We know what we remember James 2: 26 "As the body without the soul is dead, so faith is also dead without works." However, it is worth remembering that in the Dominican spirituality, charitable activity is presented as the fruit of contemplation of gospel truth.


"Contemplate aliis et contemplata tradere" - St. Thomas Aquinas


Our beloved Pope Francis reminds us that we are not an NGO of activism that seeks to solve the ills generated by global mechanisms of oppression. We recognize the importance of the work of non-governmental organizations that perform great tasks of social importance. However, as Christians and members of the Dominican Family, we must realize the importance of our experience of God as a driving force in our life from day to day.


As St. Augustine reminds us, the first goal of a Christian is not wanting to be good, fair, a hero, etc, but the desire to become "another Christ" and by becoming "Christlike" we become virtuous.


This statement can seem strange and contradictory at first glance, especially if we consider the logic of postmodern activists. But those who have had the experience of the cross, especially those who share the spirituality of Saint Dominic, know that when we are in the presence of God and behold his face, every action is the result of understanding that God loved me first. Thus, out of gratitude our response will be "always do good" (Teresa de Saldanha).


I invite everyone to pray and live this reality through a prayer of Blessed Cardinal Newman.


"Lord Jesus, do not stand so hidden within me!

Look through my eyes;

listening through my ears;

speaks through my lips;

surrender through my hands;

walk by my feet ...

You remember my poor human presence

at least far

your divine presence! "

Amen


-Leonardo De Laquila

International Mission Promoter IDYM


 

IDYM Month of Mission

Welcome to the month of the mission. We want the month of October to be a special month for all of us to reflect on our active participation in society as Christians. We have lived its importance and talked about it at the International Assembly in Bogota. And we have been asked by you to strengthen this area. So we have started to work and we have compiled a number of texts and experiences on the mission that will be published throughout the month. With them we invite you to reflect and most importantly, to implement it as part of our preaching as young Dominicans. We ask you to change the header image of your Facebook for this throughout this month. Also, please send us articles, photos and videos of your experiences to share!

 

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