The Third Meeting of the Comboni Lay Missionaries in America took place in Guatemala City from 16 to 20 September, together with the Central Committee of the CLM. The seed planted by St. Daniel Comboni has continued to bear abundant fruit in the hearts that make silence to listen to the will of God.
The meeting was attended by the CLM of the continent -USA / Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Brazil- and Comboni advisors and a Comboni sister. This was really a meeting full of cultures and languages, but united by a common Comboni missionary spirit.
Every day, we all met in the Holy Eucharist, which was the food necessary to meet the challenges of work presented to us as the meeting progressed.
After Mass starts, the working sessions in different themes, related to the Way of the CLM: coordination, structure, economics, education, mission, among others; in order to reach agreements and proposals to help each community to further deepen this beautiful charism we have received as a gift from God.
Those days were very tired, for debating and seeking a common path. But they were also days of joy, to share, to know and to feel part of a beautiful family that is growing, maybe not by leaps and bounds, but with firm steps under the lovely low weight of the cross of Christ.
Also, days to feel as brothers, beyond language or nationality, beyond physical boundaries, we felt children under the protection of Saint Daniel Comboni. Each day we could remember that our Comboni being flowed from the pierced heart of Christ nailed to the tree.
Between work sessions, we got to know also more about the work being done in each CLM Community of the participating countries, and thus enrich the lived experience of the community. And our Guatemalan brothers gave us several cultural activities, for more wealth, history and “chapinas” traditions.
Today, looking back, is nothing but smile, with peace in our heart for the work done, knowing that the real meeting has just begun. If we want the conclusions of the meeting will bear fruit, we must all get to work; we must work together and strive to bring the message of Christ to many brothers who do not yet know.
We need to be more in communication, recognizing that the mission does not belong to a country, but to the Church, that we all conform. We need the support of our older brothers, the MCCJ, and take our leading role as Comboni Lay Missionaries. We need to work together, and be engage in a more global missionary work. There is still some way to go, but our shortcomings are what should motivate us to keep going, looking to grow and improve, to get closer to God’s specific call. The road travels easier when we walk together.
Some, perhaps, will want to know if the meeting was worth it or if it was a success. I think the things of God cannot be measured in these terms, it could misunderstand the work. And this work is constructed from Love with Love and by Love. That Love which includes the sacrifice to be willing to give our lives.
However, something we can say is that the meeting helped to take our role together, for bonding, to know the faces-and hearts-especially those who, from their realities and countries are building the charism of St. Daniel Comboni in everyday life and anonymity, aware that the only protagonist of the work is Jesus Christ, as it was well understood by Comboni.