The meeting was facilitated by a commission of young members of the Teresian Association (TA). Elisa Estévez, General Councilor of the TA spoke on reflection and prayer.
Thirty-four young people, ages between 18 and 30, from different parts of the country participated. The meeting began with an icebreaker in which they shared their motivations, which were expressed in different ways, such as the following: "Feel the presence of God in prayer and other activities.” “Share and meet more young people who are looking for God.” “Get closer to God in these difficult times of my life.” “Go to Jesus to have a personal encounter with Him and ask Him to help me discover the way to serve Him and give witness to His greatness.” “Be part of a group of young people who seek God.”
Elisa Estévez presented them with three icons of mercy and she reflected on them: the good father, the good Samaritan, and the owner of the vineyard who hires workers at different times of the day. She started with an invitation to live the day as an opportunity to ask oneself before the Lord how one can be the face of the mercy of God in the style of Jesus for other people, who in gestures and with his whole being reveals the mercy of God. She also called on the audience to come out and look for others, approach them and recognize the call received to welcome them. Then she made the invitation to allow ourselves to be surprised by the overflowing unconditional love of God.
After the presentation, Elisa Estévez recommended some quiet time for personal prayer with the icon of the good father. She proposed a way to enter into silence and going deeper within: start by preparing the encounter with God and then go into the text through each of the characters, the father, the youngest son and the eldest son, watch their actions, listen to their words, intuit their feelings, imagine their gestures ... allow everything to down inside ... receive their resonance in the heart and wonder how and when in life we are like the father, the youngest son or the eldest son. Place ourselves next to these characters at this point in our lives. To conclude the prayer, she proposed to have a dialogue with Jesus about bringing the invitations received to daily life. In other words, a brief personal examination of prayer was made through simple questions. This was followed by sharing in small groups.
Then the Eucharist took place with the presentation before the altar of a colorful tapestry carried by those present, who also carried other colorful symbols. It was a time to celebrate how God had become present in our lives! Celebrate and be sent to plant in our world freely, welcome with mercy, with a renewed commitment to following Jesus. This sending off was symbolized by corn seeds and beans, basic grains of our people, which each person received and in turn handed over to another person, as a sign of communion in the mission.
Before the farewell, the participants were invited to continue to deepen into the experience through a process of personal growth, deepening in faith and knowledge of the TA, both in Guatemala City and in Quetzaltenango, where the Association has been present for a year. An account was opened in facebook for them to continue communicating. The joy at the possibility of another encounter was evident.
The expectations of the encounter were fulfilled, as was made clear by their expressions of gratitude, faith, and joy.
The Teresian Association in Guatemala, throughout the new year 2017, will continue to provide young people with opportunities to discover their own vocation in the building of the Kingdom and to present the charism of Poveda as a way and a mediation.
TA in Guatemala