Una vita in Africa – A life in Africa Rotating Header Image

March 21st, 2008:

La Gioia di Donarsi

Last night I celebrated the memorial of the Last Supper of Christ in Kivuli. As usual children themselves have prepared the readings and made brief comments. Then it came my turn to talk. I asked the small Clinton (in Kivuli we got also other presidents, like Nelson Mandela, Kennedy and even Reagan… still no Bush) who was sitting next to me, and, showing him to the whole group, I pointed out that even if we had wanted to, we would never had been able to separate the body of Clinton from his soul, or his mind or his feelings.

We are one thing, and the body is a great gift that enables us to be the people we are, to communicate, to give our love to others. With our body we can work for others, we can caress and consle them. Their mother gave them their lives and carried them in her body for nine months, nourishing them with her life, being careful not to harm them. And our body comes from a long list of people who loved each other, it is a gift that we receive from our parents, from our ancestors, from God. That’s why Jesus has given us his body. In that night that seemed hopeless Jesus donated his whole self, to his friends and to his enemies, for the sake of everyone, in communion with everyone, giving his body. And here’s why to be followers of Jesus means to be very concrete, loving the others serving their needs, even the apparently more material ones, as the needs to eat, to be clean, to be healed.

All the children were looking to Clinton, shaking their heads in a sign of agreement. And they really understood, because, later the “twelve apostles” let me to wash with compuntion and concentration. They looked to the cleansing water and to to my hands as seeing them for the first time. At the end of the rite, I reminded them that that same body of Jesus, donated and than broken on the cross, it is the same body that rises from death and fills us with a new life.

I was inspired by an article by Timothy Radcliffe, former head of the Dominicans, entitled ‘The joy of giving ourselves’ published recently in The Tablet, perhaps the more intelligent monthly magazine of the Catholic English-speaking world. Radcliffe sets its reflection on the Eucharist, the gift that Jesus does if his body, to develop a Christian vision of sexuality, overcoming the soul-body dualism that has so damaged the Christian spirituality.

In my context was not the case to reach the conclusions of Radcliffe, but the immediate positive response from the boys has confirmed once more how open they are to look at life with truly Christian and truly African eyes.
Happy Easter.

Italiano English
This blog is multi language by p.osting.it's Babel