The apostolic nuncio to the United States at the inaugural event of the Meeting
Rimini, Sunday August 19th – The presentation was started with a few minutes of silence for the victims of the Genoa tragedy. The president of the meeting for friendship among people Emilia Guarnieri said: “let’s have a moment of silence, friendship, prayer and closeness to our Liguria friends, the families affected, the victims and the injured. Peace, who knows it, knows that joy and pain in equal parts “she quoted Paul Claudel. To begin the president of the meeting, Guarnieri, read messages from the president of the Italian republic Sergio Mattarella and from the Secretary General of the United nations Manuel de Oliveira Guterres. Introducing the speaker Monsignor Christophe Pierre, the president posed some significant questions: What makes the heart’s desire in our personal life? In society, in economy, at work and in politics? Can he make a change in the story?
In the Intesa Sanpaolo A3 Auditorium at 3.00 pm, the archbishop, apostolic nuncio to the United States, talked lively and passionately about the title of the XXXIX edition of the meeting. Among the guests were in the audience, the president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation Fr Julián Carrón and the outgoing president of Rai Monica Maggioni .Pierre, recalled a famous expression of pope Francis: “in the face of change, people begin to despair, forgetting to be the protagonist of history”. What can cause this? “Only an encounter can awakens the heart and reopen the possibilities of the future: Same as what happened with Jesus and the people who met him. Or the personal meetings that the Pope Francis has with people. Or in the meetings that we have as the heirs of Don Giussani’’.
The apostolic nuncio offered a fascinating and engaging reading from Gospel passage of the Samaritana: “When Jesus introduces himself as living water, there is an awareness in the woman: she recognizes that she knows what to do with a truly exceptional person, someone who could satisfy her deepest thirst, the thirst for happiness”. The Samaritan woman “in fact, continued Pierre, “She has tried to reconcile her thirst with earthy things and found herself frustrated and dissatisfied.Hence it was a life of pain, of misery, of solitude”. Just as often happens to us: “We try to cope with our sins, weaknesses and inadequacies by filling our lives with what we think can satisfy us, alcohol, drugs, wealth and power; but in the end nothing satisfies us”. Instead, the woman met a heavenly presence that led her to discover her humanity and the possibility of living a new life.
Monsignor Pierre observed the similarities between this episode and the pastoral and missionary vision of the Holy Father. “With his encyclicals, speeches and gestures, the Pope calls the Church to take responsibility to facilitate a personal experience of Jesus, who fills life with joy”.
Then he offered a reading from the pontificate of Bergolio in the light of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference in Aparecida (2007): in this situation, problems such as the insecurity that dominates the modern man’s life and effects the way they interact with the reality and society. Similarly, the Holy Father proposes the vision of a church that facilitates the encounter with Christ. This mission – the rapporteur continued – above all, requires awareness of what exists in the heart of man: the sense of truth, justice, goodness, happiness and beauty. The Pope invites the Church to be a missionary, to appease man’s thirst for the Presence of God in Jesus. His election – he said Pierre – in this historical moment is truly providential, because the church has now a shepherd who will push it to be a church for people, a place of mercy and testimony, full committed and involved in reality.
The speaker continued, therefore, outlining an analogy between Francesco and Don Luigi Giussani: “The Lord called Giussani to be a prophet by founding Communion and Liberation and leading the movement through the turbulent times of 1968, when the faith seemed disconnected from life and the ideals and hopes of happiness of the young were shaped by a secularized mentality. Educated young people to consider Christ as the center and fulfilling their desire became an important task for Father Giussani. Invited them constantly towards the Christian proposals and believed that they are similar to the man’s desire to be happy. Today – noted Pierre – Today we have to look at reality and ourselves with a reduced capacity which is under the influence of the earthly power.
For The CL Movement, the educational method proposed by the founder is very sensitive. It’s a path that looks ahead and bring awareness for men and women, aware of not only their deepest needs but what they have inside themselves.
“We are on the verge of an epochal change, we are talking about technical revolution and communications, but what is this the real revolution?”: Monsignor Pierre concluded answering to this question “revolution of the heart. We cannot force anyone to believe, as Jesus did not force the Samaritan woman; rather, he gave her the opportunity to pursue the true desire of her heart through communication. And we too – the prelate said – can offer those we meet, especially young people, the opportunity to share the grace we have received. The world today needs witnesses: parents, educators, politicians, workmates and priests. We need a Church that witnesses the joy of belonging to Christ”.