Jubilee Activities

 

Thanksgiving for:

  • The Church-Family of God, community of faith.
  • Our identity as baptized people and our mission as witnesses to the Gospel.
  • The gift of the Eucharist which brings us together, sanctifies, strengthens and commits us to become “Eucharist” so that others through us may have life in fullness.
  • SECAM and all the other structures and ecclesial institutions within Church for the past 50 years.
  • The pastoral and social works that have enabled the Church to be close to those in need: (Mt 25:31-46)
  • Cultural and educational works.

 

Memories of the accomplished path

Identifying the initiatives or activities of the Church-Family of God at all levels: personal, family, parochial, diocesan, national, regional and continental (successes, failures, joys and difficulties encountered).

  • How do we, in our families, parishes, religious congregations, nations, regions, and continent, acknowledge the progress made by the Church-Family of God?
  • What measures have we put in place to promote justice, reconciliation, peace and development and to help internalize, assimilate and testify truly that we are God’s Family?
  • What mutual support do we offer each other in response to the fact that we are the Church-Family of God?
  • What kind of spiritual and material resources do we dispose of?

 

Repentance and Conversion

  • Identify the activities to be undertaken towards the way of repentance and conversion in our daily life
  • Promote personal and community approaches of forgiveness,
  • To be aware of our shortcomings and negligence in acknowledging and developing the immense human and natural resources of Africa in favour of our populations.
  • Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the methods of evangelization used till today and to update the necessary pastoral initiatives.
  • Develop activities for reconciliation and unity at all levels: family, Christian communities, villages, regions, countries and continent.

 

Renewed commitment to bearing witness to Christ

  • Renewing our life with Christ
  • Strengthening the sense of personal responsibility to the Gospel among the lay faithful, the Religious and the pastors.
  • Organizing formation sessions to deepen our knowledge of Christ and his Gospel
  • Identifying socio-cultural and economic barriers to responding to the demands of the Mission.
  • Rethinking and promoting the involvement of Christians in political life.
  • Developing, in institutions of formation (universities, seminaries, novitiates, and associations), initiatives of communion and action for deeper evangelization and transformation of society.
  • Promoting an organic solidarity among ecclesial service structures in a spirit of subsidiarity and complementarity (cf. Pauline image of the church as body of Christ).
  • Promoting some pastoral actions or strategies, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, proper to different groups and associations as well as socio-professional institutions (family businesses, cooperative structures, community groups for economic purposes, etc.), in view of integral human development.
  • Recognizing and promoting the roots and cultural values ​​of Africa to meet the major challenges for her transformation.
  • Indicate the commitments to be promoted in order to further respond to the mission of the Church-Family of God.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Church-Family of God, as well as the opportunities and threats for a far-reaching evangelization.
  • Stimulate and encourage ecumenical actions and Interreligious Dialogue.
  • Remember that the grace of God is gratuitous and dismiss any aspects of simony in the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals.
  • Create awareness for pastoral care of the needy (sick, old, prisoners, refugees, migrants, etc. (Lk 6: 17-19).
  • Strengthen pastoral care for the children and the youth

Jubilee Calendar

August 2018: Church Communities

Text:  Acts 2, 42-47

Meditation: The example of the First Christian Communities

The life of the first Christian communities is rooted in the teaching of the apostles, fraternal communion, prayer, the breaking of bread and witnessing to Christ.

In fact, the Church is born and nurtured in reference to the apostles who were the direct witnesses of the life and teaching of the Lord Jesus. In a world of inequality, the early Christians expressed their fellowship through sharing, so that “no one was ever in need”.

In moments of difficulty or joy, Christians are united with their Lord and with one another by daily and incessant prayer. The summit of these meetings in the Lord is the breaking of bread, the Eucharist, where the disciples of Jesus celebrate the death and resurrection of their Lord.

This is how the first Christians testified about Jesus, dead and risen from the dead. They found a favorable reception among the people. They show us the way forward, to each of us, to our communities, to our parishes.


Continuous Meditation: The Parish, Church-Family of God

The parish is by nature the living environment and the ordinary place of worship for the faithful, where they can express and implement the initiatives that the Christian faith and charity of the community of believers suggest. It is the place where the communion of various groups and movements, which must find spiritual support and material support, manifests itself. Priests and laity will ensure that the life of the parish is harmonious, within the framework of the Church as Family where all are “diligent in the teaching of the Apostles, faithful to fraternal communion, to the breaking of bread, to prayers” (Acts 2:42) (John Paul II, Ecclesia in Africa , no. 100).

September 2018: The Word of God (Catechists and Animators)

Text: John 1, 1-18

Meditation: Jesus, the Word become flesh (John 1:14)

At the very beginning of his gospel, in the Prologue, Saint John presents Jesus as God Word, become flesh: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’’ (John 1, 1). The only Son of the Father, Jesus, God-Word, participates in his creative activity. He became one of us to join us in the life of the Father. In him, God creates a new humanity, for those who have welcomed him. (2 Cor 5:17).

Later, in chapter 6, John continues his meditation. He shows Jesus the Word that is made food. Recalling the experience of walking in the desert, Jesus invites us to believe in Him, to allow ourselves to be nourished and watered by his word. Only his word is able to make the deserts of our lives bloom. His word is as invigorating as his body and blood.

This is why Christians must constantly nourish themselves with the Word of God. But for this word to bear fruit, it must be well understood. Therefore, there is a need for Bible reading training in our groupings and parishes, for all Christians, but especially for catechists and facilitators of Christian communities.


Continuous meditation: To know better the Word of God

For the Word of God to be known, loved, contemplated and preserved in the hearts of the faithful (see Luke 2: 19.51), efforts to facilitate access to Holy Scripture, including full or partial translations of the Bible, as much as possible in collaboration with other Churches and Christian Communities, and accompanied by reading guides for prayer, studying in family or in community. In addition, there is a need to promote Bible formation for members of the clergy, religious, catechists and lay people in general; to plan celebrations of the Word; to promote the biblical apostolate through the Biblical Center for Africa and Madagascar and other similar structures to be encouraged at all levels. In short, we will try to put Sacred Scripture in the hands of all the faithful from a very young age   (John Paul II, Ecclesia

in Africa, 58)

October 2018: Mission and Movements for the Apostolate

Text: Mark: 16, 9-20

Meditation: Sending on Mission

The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith. But this experience, the apostles cannot keep for themselves. They must announce it to the whole world. The risen and living Jesus works with them and is with them.

Yet the Evangelist Mark insists very much on the silence of Jesus. During the passion, one has the impression that God has abandoned his son. After the resurrection, the first women who received the news of the resurrection flee all trembling in fear and awe of the event.

Mark wants to show us that the mission first of all is not about publicity. Before going to announce Jesus, one must first take time to contemplate him in silence, in prayer. The silence of God in passion as in resurrection does not mean his absence, but a discreet and effective presence. In raising Jesus from the dead, God shows that he does not abandon his own to themselves. But that does not mean they are spared from hardship.

Today, the mission is entrusted to the Church. It is also to all believers, each according to his vocation in the Church. We are all missionaries. This is a demanding mission. As the whole of Mark’s Gospel shows, mission is an adventure in the footsteps of the Crucified and Risen Christ. It is a mission of prayer, witnessed by word and deed. One of the fields of this mission is the commitment to reconciliation, justice and peace.


Continuous meditation: the mission of reconciliation, justice and peace

Africa’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ is a precious treasure that I entrust at the beginning of the third millennium to the bishops, priests, permanent deacons, consecrated persons, catechists and laity of this dear continent and neighboring islands. This mission is calling on Africa to deepen the Christian vocation. It invites Africa to live, in the name of Jesus, reconciliation between people and communities, and to promote peace and justice for all in the truth (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 1).

November 2018: Saints of Africa and Madagascar

Text: Matthew 5, 3-12

Meditation: The Beatitudes

The text of the Beatitudes according to St. Matthew is proposed to us on the feast of All Saints. The beatitudes tell us in a certain way who Jesus is. He is the poor man who put all his trust in God. By his gentleness and humility, he bears witness to the tenderness and mercy of his Father. In solidarity with the suffering and injustice, he gave his life, so that justice and peace could prevail. He proposes happiness that is not built on the might of power, knowledge, possessions or fame. But he leads us on the risky path of self-giving, for God and for others.

Throughout history, elsewhere as in Africa, many have accepted and still accept to take this risk. We remember the famous African saints and martyrs. But let us also think of those saints and martyrs who on a daily basis risk their lives to save others. Let us not forget those men and women who remain honest in a world that is often corrupt. Think of those who refuse divisions and opt for fraternity without borders. May all our saints, known and unknown, help us to experience beatitudes every day!


Continuous meditation: Living the Beatitudes

The disciple of Christ, united to his Master, must contribute to forming a just society where all can participate actively with their own talents in social and economic life. They will be able to earn what is necessary for them to live according to their human dignity in a society where justice will be vivified by love. Christ does not propose a revolution of the social or political type, but that of love, realized in the total gift of his person by his death on the Cross and his Resurrection. On this revolution of love are fused the Beatitudes (Mt 5, 3-12). They provide a new horizon of justice inaugurated in the paschal mystery and through which we can become righteous and build a better world. The justice of God, revealed to us by the Beatitudes, raises the humble and lowers those who exalt themselves. It is realized in fullness, it is true, in the Kingdom of God which will be realized at the end of time. But the righteousness of God is already manifested where the poor are comforted and admitted to the feast of life (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 26).

December 2018: Life and Creation

Text: Ap 21, 1-5

Meditation: New Heaven, New Earth

In Chapter 21 of the Apocalypse, John discovers all the hope that must live in the Christian, despite the difficulties of existence. Through images, the author considers the total renewal of history and the world by the risen and living Jesus. He comes to rebuild everything for a new life.

In traditional Africa, life is essentially health, happiness, children … The Word of God invites us to consider life as part of the whole of society, history and of the ecological environment.

Indeed, the deterioration of the environment is a sign of the deterioration of the life of Africans, as well as that of their economic, political, cultural, cosmic, ethical and even spiritual environment. The fight for life takes into account the struggle for a healthy environment. In addition, the commitment to the ecological concerns must take into account all the places where life is destroyed: the political, the economic, the social, the cultural, and the ethical. In other words, the fight for the environment is at the same time an engagement for peace, justice, development, health, in short for life.


Continuous Meditation: Respect for Life and the Ecosystem

Businessmen and women, governments and economic groups engage in exploitation programs that pollute the environment and cause unprecedented desertification. Serious damage is being done to nature and forests, flora and fauna, and countless species may disappear forever. All of this threatens the entire ecosystem and, consequently, the survival of humanity. I urge the Church in Africa to encourage the rulers to protect the fundamental goods of land and water, for the human life of present and future generations, and for peace among peoples (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 80).

January 2019: The Family and Interreligious Dialogue

Text: Lk 2, 22-40

Meditation: The Family of Nazareth

Like all Jewish families of the time, Joseph and Mary perform all the rites prescribed by the Law. Jesus affirms the importance of the human family. But his radical reference to the Father invites us to build the blood-based family in the faith and the love of God, giving it a stronger density. Jesus does not deny the blood-based family. But, recalling his divine sonship, He proposes a new way of being a family.

In the early Church, the family will often be the first cell of the Church. We understand the importance that the Church gives to the pastoral care of the family. In a densely populated Africa, the family must once again become the first place of evangelization, prayer, learning the values ​​of reconciliation, justice and peace.

This is why, in many cases, the family is the first place of ecumenical dialogue but also of interreligious dialogue. It is not always easy. But the last word must always be love.


Continuous meditation: the family at the service of interreligious dialogue

As many social movements reveal, interreligious relations condition peace in Africa as elsewhere. Therefore, it is important for the Church to promote dialogue as a spiritual attitude so that believers can learn to work together, for example in associations oriented towards peace and justice, in a spirit of trust and mutual aid. Families must be educated in listening, brotherhood and respect without fear of others. Only one thing is necessary (cf. Luke 10:42) and capable of appeasing the thirst for eternity of every human being and the desire for unity of all humanity: the love and contemplation of the One before whom Saint Augustine exclaimed: “O eternal truth, true charity, dear eternity (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 88).

February 2019: the sick

Text: Jn 5, 1-18

Meditation: the cure of the paralytic

In taking the initiative to heal the paralytic, Jesus shows his interest in the person and in the whole person. God the Father does not rejoice in suffering. He does not orchestrate it. Therefore, we must fight against suffering with the weapons of science, but also those of faith, prayer and sacraments celebrated in community. The Christian considers healing in all its dimensions. He or she engages in the fight against all forms of diseases that threaten Africa and their causes: violence, poverty, injustice, corruption, fears … As to the paralytic, Jesus is telling us: get up and walk.

With him, we walk on the path of resurrection, but also on that of the cross. In fact, the Risen Jesus has assumed human suffering to the utmost, even the most total distress. With us, He shouted, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?’’  (Mark 15, 34 // Mt 27, 46). When faced with challenges, we need to cling with all our strength and faith in the Crucified One, to hope and above all to testify to the tenderness of the Father. In these moments of helplessness, strong and concrete love is the best answer to suffering.


Continuous Meditation: Love in the Face of Suffering

No society, even developed, can do without the fraternal service animated by love. “He who wants to free himself from love is preparing to free himself from man as such. There will always be suffering, which calls for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. Likewise, there will always be situations of material necessity, for which help is indispensable, in the sense of a concrete love for the neighbor. “It is love that soothes wounded, lonely, abandoned hearts. It is love that engenders peace or restores it to the human heart and establishes it among men (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 29).

March 2019: Refugees, Migrants, Displaced Persons

Text: Dt 26, 5

Commentary

According to the book of Deuteronomy, the offering of the first fruits of the harvest to the Lord was accompanied by a solemn profession of faith. It was a reminder to the people that the ancestors of Israel were not from Canaan: “My Father is a wandering Aramaic. He went down to Egypt, where he lived as an immigrant with a few people who accompanied him   “(Dt 26, 5).

The experience of migration is universal. This is why the Bible asks to be attentive to the emigrants, the foreigners, as well as to the orphans and the widows. Fragile, the migrant has the right to the solicitude of the Lord, but also to that of the community: “The Lord is the incorruptible judge who executes justice to the orphan and the widow, and who loves the emigrant by giving him food and clothing” (Dt 10, 18).

The Word of God invites to fight for migrants at the level of hospitality and legally.  It calls us to perceive migration as a rewarding encounter. Do not think only of migrations to other continents, but also within the continent, or even the country. How do we welcome ourselves in our neighborhoods, our villages, or our Christian communities?

The Church shows support for African migrants outside and inside the continent. She challenges the responsibility to all, especially Africans.


Continuous meditation: Solidarity with migrants

“The Church remembers that Africa was a place of refuge for the Holy Family who fled Herod’s bloodthirsty political power in search of a land that promised them security and peace. The Church will continue to make her voice heard and to invest in defending all people” (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 85).

April 2019: Vocations, Children and Young People

Text: Mark 1, 16-20

Meditation: The Call of the First Disciples

Mark places the call of the first disciples at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He shows as well that the disciples were associated from the beginning of the mission of Jesus. To follow on his footsteps, the future apostles give up their nets, their jobs.

The call of the first disciples invites us to meditate on the call addressed to all the baptized, but especially the youth. It is first of all the call of all to the Christian life, to follow Jesus. This call is radical for everyone.

But it is also about the diversity of vocations, either in the life of the laity or in the various forms of consecrated life. Priestly life and the consecrated life are a service and a sign at the heart of the Church that requires conversion. In convening for October 2018, a Synod on the theme: “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment’’, Pope Francis is calling on all young people to a radical attachment to Christ. In fact, the vocational journey is first of all this call that Jesus addresses to all, to follow him on the path of the Christian life, of conversion. Benedict XVI already emphasized its radicality.


Continuous Meditation:  The Youths – the Future of the Church and Society

Dear youths, solicitations of all kinds: ideologies, sects, money, drugs, easy sex, violence …, can tempt you. Be vigilant: those who make these proposals want to destroy your future! In spite of the difficulties, do not be discouraged and do not give up your ideals, your application and your diligence in human, intellectual and spiritual formation! To acquire discernment, the necessary strength, and the freedom to resist these pressures, I encourage you to put Jesus Christ at the center of your life through prayer, but also through the study of the Holy Scriptures, the practice of the Sacraments, formation in the Social Doctrine of the Church, as well as your active and enthusiastic participation in church gatherings and movements. Cultivate in you the aspiration towards fraternity, justice and peace. The future is in the hands of those who know how to find strong reasons to live and to hope. If you want it, the future is in your hands, because the gifts that the Lord has deposited in each of you, shaped by the encounter with Christ, can bring authentic hope to the world.

(Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 63)

May 2019: Mary and Woman

Text: Luke 1, 46-55

Comment: The Hymn of Mary

After the Annunciation, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth. The dialogue between the two women ends with the hymn of Mary, the Magnificat. Mary thinks of the annunciation. She had answered the angel that she is a humble servant. She combines all the aspects of fragility. She is a woman in the patriarchal Jewish society and in the Greco-Roman world where the slave is only an object. She is the daughter of a people crushed by the Romans.

Yet she does not despair but participates in the salvation and liberation of her people. As a disciple, she will be the sign of the newness of God. Mary evokes the upheaval of situations and values ​​that characterize the transition from the old to the new world. The intervention of God that began with the Annunciation will give priority to the humble and the crushed.

Mary, the young woman of Nazareth, is not a submissive young woman. She has the build of the matriarchs, the prophetesses and those that had endurance in the Old and New Testament. She is the symbol of a responsible woman. She represents all the women who challenge death every day and make life bloom.


Continuous meditation: Women in the Church and in the World

You, the Catholic women, you join in the evangelical tradition of the women who assisted Jesus and the apostles (cf. Lk 8, 3)! You are for the local Churches as their “backbone” because your number, your active presence and your organizations are of great support for the Church’s apostolate. When peace is threatened and justice flouted, when poverty is growing, you stand up for human dignity, family, and the values ​​of religion. May the Holy Spirit continually provoke in the Church holy and courageous women who bring their precious spiritual contribution to the growth of our communities! (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 58).

June 2019: Socio-Professions and Political Actors

Text: Luke 12, 41-44

Commentary: The Parable of the Two Stewards

The Church family of God is a servant. This is recounted in the Lucan parable of the faithful steward (Lk 12:41-44).

The parable shows us what is expected of the steward. He is a zealous, competent and honest worker. He distributes food ration to the servants, counts the expenses of maintenance of their clothes. He is a responsible economist and commercial agent who supervises the herd, manages the oil factory, construction and salaries. Aware and faithful, he is trustworthy. As a reward, he is given even more important responsibilities.

This parable can inspire a spirituality of engagement of socio-professional categories and political actors. The second African synod studied it in a particular way. The human and religious formation of the laity must be strengthened, relying on the Word of God and the social documents of the Church. It is necessary to accompany, if possible in an ecumenical context, the various socio-professional categories, including those of the politicians and the military. The Christian should be a real model for other socio-political and military decision-makers, such as “salt of the earth and light of the world “(Mt 5, 13-14).


Continuous the meditation: Salt of the earth and light of the world

The disciple of Christ, united to his Master, must contribute to forming a just society where all can participate actively with their own talents in social and economic life. They will be able to earn what is necessary for them to live according to their human dignity in a society where justice will be vivified by love. Christ does not propose a revolution of the social or political type, but that of love, realized in the total gift of his person by his death on the Cross and his Resurrection. On this revolution of love are fused the Beatitudes (Mt 5, 3-12). They provide a new horizon of justice inaugurated in the paschal mystery and through which we can become righteous and build a better world. The justice of God, revealed to us by the Beatitudes, raises the humble and lowers those who exalt themselves. It is realized in fullness, it is true, in the Kingdom of God which will be realized at the end of time. But the righteousness of God is already manifested where the poor are comforted and admitted to the feast of life (Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 26).

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